Ed note: Delicious spiced walnut snacks and appetizers are easy to make and good for you too. This holiday season, I made delicious spiced walnuts by simply coating them in sugar and cinnamon. Friends and family who received them as gifts raved.
You can change up the following recipes by adjusting the ingredients to create savory, hot or sweet delights. Walnuts add a rich, earthy flavor, but you can also substitute any type of nuts you’d like.
Walnuts (and other nuts) should be part of everyone’s healthy diet. Here’s some information about the health benefits of walnuts: Eating a handful of walnuts every day is an easy way to boost your daily nutrition. In 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave walnuts their nod of approval as a heart healthy food. Several studies have shown that walnuts added to a healthful diet can help lower total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol. They also provide anti-oxidant benefits, including reducing inflammation, and, maybe the best news, don’t add to weight gain.
Recipes Courtesy of the California Walnut Board www.walnuts.org/
Spiced California Walnuts
2 cups Walnut halves
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Preheat oven to 225°F and line a large shallow baking pan with foil. Combine the egg white and water. Beat until foamy. Add the nuts and toss to coat. Pour the mixture into a strainer and let drain 2-3 minutes. Combine sugar, cinnamon and allspice in a plastic or paper bag, shaking the bag to mix. Add the walnuts; hold the bag shut and shake vigorously to coat the nuts. Spread nuts in one layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely, stirring occasionally and breaking nuts apart if stuck together. Don’t worry if they stick to the foil, it is easy to peel them off. Store in a tightly-capped jar.
Cooking oil for frying
3 cups walnut halves
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon Chinese five-spice
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
In a wok, heat oil for deep-frying to 300°F over medium heat. Add walnuts and deep-fry, turning frequently, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Combine brown sugar and butter in a saucepan. Cook, stirring, over low heat until brown sugar melts. Add honey and five-spice; mix well. Remove saucepan from heat and add walnuts and sesame seeds; toss gently to coat.
Spread mixture in a foil-lined baking pan. Let stand until cool. Break into bite size pieces before serving.
Indian Spiced Walnuts
4 cups walnut halves and pieces
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Coat a large, shallow, baking pan with non-stick vegetable spray. Mix egg whites with spices. Stir in walnuts and coat thoroughly. Spread in prepared pan. Bake in 350°F oven for 15-18 minutes, until dry and crisp. Cool completely before serving.
Prepare ingredients as above. Spread prepared walnuts in microwave-proof dish. Microwave on high in 4 or 5 batches for 2-3 minutes each, until dry and crisp. Cool completely.
Southwest Spiced Walnuts
2 cups walnut halves
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon walnut oil or canola oil
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and roast about 5 minutes until golden brown. Place the sugar, salt, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the nuts and stir to coat with the oil. Add the seasoning mixture and toss until the nuts are coated. Cool on a paper towel.