Adding nuts to your diet - as a quick snack or as a topping for salads and main dishes - will go a long way to helping you reach your health goals. This recipe for savory healthy spiced nuts gives you another flavor option, producing delicious nuts in just minutes.
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If you have read about my real food weight loss, then you won't be surprised to know I have a thing for nuts. I love how just a few (really - only just a bit more than an 1/8 cup - you can read more about my portion control tips here), along with a cup of tea, satisfies my afternoon hunger.
I also love how nuts are packed with nutrition and good-for-you fats. I like to go for mixed nuts, since then I can get the benefits from all different kinds and the nutrients they offer.
Are Nuts Really Good For You?
The thing is, nuts have suffered from a bad rap through the years because they are high in fat. I remember being told to stay away from nuts with the focus on the calorie intake.
It wasn't until I started researching real food and health that I realized that nuts are full of healthy fats and even help to lower your LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels. The Mayo Clinic reports that "Nuts also appear to improve the health of the lining of your arteries." In addition, they are great sources of protein, omega-3 fats, fiber, and vitamin E.
And that protein and fat in nuts? That's what works so well to satisfy us even when we just eat a couple tablespoons. A little really goes a long way with nuts, but they are also one of the key real foods that helped me lose - and maintain - weight.
Easy & Healthy Spiced Nuts Recipe
While I love the flavor of most roasted nuts, after awhile plain salted nuts can seem a bit...bland.
Since I didn't want to add sugar like most of the spiced glazed nut recipes I see, I was thrilled when a friend brought spiced nuts to a gathering we had. They were SO good - the spices made the same old nuts I'd been eating seem like new.
The ingredients are simple:
- Spices - pantry basic spices, nothing hard to source.
- Oil - olive, coconut, avocado, etc.
- Raw Nuts - any type you want, though I have found the spice sticks best on nuts with crevices like raw walnuts and pecans.
And guess what? I realized that the spices make the nuts even BETTER for you! I've written about the healing benefits of turmeric, and cayenne pepper has been reported to aid in everything from heart issues to helping get rid of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
In addition, cinnamon is an antioxidant that can help regulate blood sugar, among other things, ginger is an anti-inflammatory, and curry is said to help bones, digestion, and even help fight cancer.
The amounts used and eaten in a few nuts probably won't make a huge impact, but over time you are adding to the health of your overall diet, which is a good thing, right?
And don't you love it when something good for you tastes great, too?
Of course, making something taste better may increase the temptation to eat more, so there is that. Everything still needs to be in moderation, since nuts do pack that good amount of calories from fat, even if it's good fat. I've learned that too much of anything, no matter how good for you, is just, well...too much.
But you can definitely add a small handful of these nuts to your daily routine and reap the benefits of this nutrient-dense food, especially because they're easy and can be made in 15 minutes or less!
Easy & Healthy Spiced Nuts Recipe (Sugar Free)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder I use hot
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon rounded cayenne pepper or more/less to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons olive coconut, or peanut oil
- 2 cups raw nuts like pecans walnuts, almonds & cashews
- Heat oven to 325 degrees and line a small cookie sheet with parchment or silicone.
- Combine all the spices in a medium bowl that will hold the nuts, too. Add oil and mix until smooth.
- Dump the nuts into the bowl and stir until they are evenly coated and spread evenly on the prepared pan in a single layer.
- Bake nuts for 12-15 minutes, stirring at the halfway point.
- Remove from oven and stir once more before letting sit on pan to cool for about an hour. Store in an airtight container.
Adapted from a recipe in The New Basics Cookbook.
This recipe has been updated - it was originally published March 2014.
Other Healthy Recipes You May Like:
Perfectly Roasted & Salted Almonds (WAY better than bought!)
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