Recently, our house has become a casual ‘drop in’ location for friends and neighbors. I guess years of renovation curiosity (constant and unyielding renovation in many stages) makes it so there’s always something new to stop by and see. But because I am, by nature, a ‘feeder’ I always bring out some kind of snacks or beverage when this happens. Does a glass of wine help distract from the mudroom that has a ceiling of the bottom of the second story bathroom tile? You bet it does.
Spiced nuts are the perfect guest snack. They store well, they’re filling and interesting. And you can make so many versions (cinnamon sugar, or spicy salty)! But when you, as I mentioned, oft have a drop in guest, you need to change up the snack recipe. So we decided we would make the entree of party nuts: chicken flavored ones.
This recipe uses chicken bullion powder to bring savory, umami spices to the bowl. Pair that with some sage and you have a nice seasonal snack. I guess at this point as a dietitian I could also launch into the typical barrage that is the ‘health benefits of nuts’ diatribe, but I’ll leave you with this: nuts are a nice balanced snack. They have great health benefits that range from brain health to heart health. So unless you’re allergic, you should definitely eat them.
If you want to have a nice convo about the specifics of nut health, DM me on Instagram and I’d be happy to share. But if you don’t really care beyond what I’ve told you, here’s the recipe. I’m sure you had enough mansplaining / bossy aunt stories forced on you during the holidays.
- .125 cups water
- 1 tbsp butter
- .25 cups sugar
- .25 tsp garlic powder
- 1.25 tsp chicken bullion
- .75 tsp powdered dry sage
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 cups raw whole cashews
- 1 cups raw almonds
- 1 cups shelled pecans **OR any combination of nuts to reach 4 cups
- Preheat oven for to 350 F.
- Add sugar, water and butter to a small pan on the stove over medium. Melt butter then continue to cook mixture for 1 minute.
- While butter is melting with sugar and water, add spices to a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add nuts.
- Slowly pour sugar mixture over nuts, continuously tossing the cashews with a rubber spatula to evenly coat the nuts with sugar and spices.
- On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread nuts evenly in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and toss nuts. Return to oven for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and continue to stir nuts on the pan periodically until they are no longer sticky (about 5 minutes).
- Cool and serve.
- Note: To dehydrate your own fresh (likely leftover) sage, we use the Serious Eats method. Pluck individual leaves from stems and place in a single layer between two to four layers of paper towels. Microwave for about 35 seconds, then microwave in 20 second bursts until dry. Use a mortar and pestle to grind.