The aroma of spiced nuts filling my kitchen lets me know the holidays are here! Whether you put spiced nuts out to share with company or you use them to complement salads, desserts or breakfast cereal, this simple, classic treat is a holiday must. Of course, you can spice nuts any time of year (and I do).
You can use walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, macadamia nuts and just about any nut or seed you choose. These sweet, spicy, slightly salty Spiced Nuts make a great snack, appetizer and garnish and the recipe is easy to follow.
Whether you choose to prepare your own variety of spiced nuts or you purchase some ready-to-eat, here are some serving tips and recipes:
Put them out in decorative holiday bowls around the kitchen and living room so family and friends have easy access. Orange Spiced Nut Mix is scented with grated orange peel. Your guests will surely appreciate them!
Top hot or cold breakfast cereals with chopped spiced nuts.
Pack in festive tins and give away as holiday gifts. Your giftees will love these Maple Sugar Nuts.
Garnish leafy green and whole grain salads.
Spoon over yogurt; add chopped dried fruit.
Spoon over ice cream, frozen yogurt or a favorite non-dairy frozen dessert.
Garnish pumpkin pie, custard pie or apple or pear crisp.
Eat a small handful with a square or two of dark chocolate for dessert. For a delicious snack, gently melt dark chocolate, stir in spiced nuts, drop by spoonful onto a parchment- or wax-paper-lined tray; freeze until firm, then refrigerate until ready to eat. Delish! Or just drizzle the nuts with melted chocolate for an easy festive touch like these Candied Walnuts with Dark Chocolate and Orange Zest.
Pair with a complimentary cheese. I love Manchego or aged goat cheese with spiced nuts.
Garnish fruit salad or poached fresh and dried fruits like pears, prunes and dried apricots.
Sprinkle over cranberry sauce, applesauce or any fruit sauce.
Go savory and swap the sweet spices for garlic powder and onion flakes. Our “Everything Bagel” Nut and Seed Mix is a great pre-dinner snack or cocktail hour treat.
Remember, you can vary the spices within a basic recipe. For example, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a bit of a kick or some grated nutmeg for a holiday “eggnog” flavor. The most important thing is to enjoy the process of discovering all of the spices and flavors you love.
Do you make spiced nuts for the holidays? What’s your recipe? Let me know in the comments.