So, if you’re a fan of the Three Things articles I publish every Saturday, you may remember when I told you that I had discovered, by accident (because I’m
cheap frugal smart with money), that almonds you roast at home are WAY better than roasted-salted almonds from the store. Way. Better. As in, you may find you have trouble eating only a few (but that’s where your small bowls for portion control will come in to play – we don’t need to suffer through blah food in order to practice portion control, do we? This is just fair warning that you will not want to start eating these straight from the jar!).
Now, before you go all “can’t we just buy anything for convenience anymore?” on me, let me explain that I don’t make these DIY roasted almonds because they are any more healthier or ‘real food’ than basic roasted nuts you can buy (though if you were soaking and sprouting them, they might be, but most raw almonds seem to be already steam-pasturized…). So if you’re needing convenience, buy away.
No, I make these because they save me a couple dollars (and we all eat a lot of nuts around here, so it adds up), but most importantly they taste amazing. Really, I had no idea there would be such a difference between home-roasted almonds and store-bought! And it’s not just me – everyone I serve them to agrees, too. I’ve had guests be so surprised that they *had* to go back for seconds- and thirds.
I’ve made a lot of flavored nuts (this spicy one is great) but I’ve not been happy with basic roasted nuts, mainly because the salt never wanted to stick to the nuts after cooking. So when confronted with the price difference between roasted and raw almonds, I started researching and I learned from this recipe that the secret to a salted flavor all the way through roasted nuts is to dissolve salt in hot water first, and then coat the raw nuts with this mixture and cook them.
I adapted the recipe to cook fully in an oven to be easier and to be able to make a large batch. After baking, you coat the warm nuts with a bit of olive oil and a couple shakes of sea salt and let them cool. They soak up all that goodness and then look like the perfectly roasted almonds that they are.
I don’t often add any flavoring because I usually want a basic nut I can then use to top salads and in my favorite granola, as well as for snacking. Any herb can be added, though, and garlic powder or seasoned salt would probably make them even harder to stop eating as a snack – if that’s possible – so flavor as you’d like.
The basic recipe has changed our nut-eating life, though, so I just had to share with you how easy and amazing it is to roast your own almonds at home. The one thing you have to be careful of is burning – it’s literally a minute between perfect and slightly burned nuts. And, yes, I’ve experienced it first hand – but you know what? Brian and I agree that even the slightly “too-browned” almonds are better than commercially roasted. Go figure.
Let me know what you think of these!
- 4-1/2 cups raw, whole almonds
- 1-1/2 TB. HOT water
- 1-1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 2 TB. olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- Heat oven to 375 degrees and line a large baking sheet with silicone or parchment.* Place the raw almonds in a large metal or ceramic mixing bowl (we'll be adding the hot nuts back into it, so don't use plastic).
- Stir 1-1/2 tsp. of salt into the hot water until mostly dissolved (it hardly ever completely dissolves for me - it's okay if it doesn't), pour over the nuts in the bowl and mix until all are coated.
- Transfer to prepared baking sheet, spreading the nuts in a single layer.
- Bake for about 8 minutes, stir well and spread back into a single layer. Bake for 6-8 minutes more, depending on how your oven cooks (Ours are usually perfect at about 15 minutes total). The nuts should be nicely browned, inside and out (you can cut one open to see if it's browned inside). Keep an eye on them, this is when they can burn quickly - but you don't want them undercooked either or they won't be crisp (once you've made them, the timing is easier).
- When they are done baking, put the hot nuts back into the large bowl and pour the olive oil over them. Toss well until all the nuts are coated, shaking on sea salt as you go. You can taste one, but they're very hot, so be careful (I usually just like to see a bit of salt on the outsides and that seems to be enough with the original salt-water coating).
- Leave the nuts to cool in the bowl, or spread out on the pan again if you need them to cool more quickly. The nuts will soak up the oil as they cool.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature.