3 Healthy Spiced Nuts Recipes

Easy-to-make munchies for snacks, parties, and gifts

Cocoa roasted almonds, spicy honey roasted peanuts and spiced mixed nuts Photos: James Worrell

Roasted chestnuts may be memorialized in song, but all kinds of nuts are part of holiday traditions for many people. As satisfying as it is to grab a handful or crack open some shells, though, sometimes you want something a little dressier.

Spiced nuts are a festive and healthy snack, and they’re fancy enough to serve at a party or package in cellophane bags or jars as gifts. These recipes from CR’s test kitchen retain all of nuts’ nutritional goodness—the protein, healthy fats, and fiber—while keeping the added sugars and sodium counts low. And they’re so easy to make, you may want to keep them in rotation year-round.

Cocoa Roasted Almonds

Photo: James Worrell Photo: James Worrell

Cocoa Roasted Almonds

5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups raw almonds

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Directions

1. Heat the oven to 300° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, combine cocoa, sugar, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white and vanilla until frothy. Stir in the nuts.

3. Remove the nuts with a slotted spoon and add them to the bowl with the cocoa mixture. Toss to coat.

4. Spread the nuts on the baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, then stir and bake about 10 minutes more. Let them cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Makes about 2 cups.

Nutrition information per serving (about 1 ounce): 130 calories, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 8 g carbs., 3 g fiber, 4 g sugars (3 g added), 4 g protein, 40 mg sodium.

Spicy Honey Roasted Peanuts

Photo: James Worrell Photo: James Worrell

Honey Roasted Peanuts With a Kick

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
Pinch cayenne or to taste
2 cups blanched, roasted, unsalted peanuts
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 350° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine the butter and honey in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl; melt in the microwave. Stir in the cayenne. Add the peanuts and toss to coat.

3. Spread the peanuts on the baking sheet and bake for 5 to 10 minutes. After 5 minutes, stir every minute or so until the nuts are golden and the glaze thickens and darkens.

4. Remove from the oven; stir while cooling until the nuts no longer stick together. Toss with the salt. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Makes about 2 cups.

Nutrition information per serving (about 1 ounce): 130 calories, 11 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 6 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugars (2 g added), 4 g protein, 160 mg sodium.

Spiced Mixed Nuts

Photo: James Worrell Photo: James Worrell

Spiced Mixed Nuts

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon cumin
Dash of cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup unsalted almonds
1 cup unsalted cashews or peanuts
1 cup unsalted pecans
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 350° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet on medium heat. Add the rosemary and thyme and cook until it just begins to sizzle.

3. Take the skillet off the heat and stir in the cumin and cayenne (if using).

4. Add the nuts to the skillet and toss to coat.

5. Spread the nuts on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Makes about 3 cups.

Nutrition information per serving (about 1 ounce): 110 calories, 10 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 3 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugars (0 g added), 3 g protein, 100 mg sodium.