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Flavored Nuts

Description

This is your chance to create your own nut delight, whether sweet, salty, bitter, sour or umami.  These nuts can be used just to nibble on their own, or as added flavor in a dish.  For example, pepper dusted cashews over a salad in place of pepper, honey cinnamon macadamias over cereal rather than sugar, or soy almonds in stir fry. There are many methods for flavoring nuts – here are a few ideas.

Roasted Nuts

There are a few different ways to add seasoning to nuts in the oven:

  1. Toss 1 cup of nuts in a teaspoon of oil, then dust with spices of choice – chili, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, nutmeg, all spice, Chinese 5 Spice, mustard powder or any other powdered herb.  Lay on a lined baking tray and roast for 15-20 minutes at 350°F until golden brown.
  2. Place nuts in a casserole dish, drizzle with olive (or preferred nut oil), and scatter fresh sprigs of herbs over top – rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, bay leaves.  Even a few thin slices of lemon or orange zest work well.  Toss to combine.  Place in 350°F oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes, tossing once or twice during cooking, until nuts are golden brown and aromatic. Cool and place in sealed jars with the seasonings and zest so flavors can develop.

Sauteed Nuts

This method provides more of a rich coating for nuts and is best used straight away or within a week. These are great on cheese platters and in rice, pasta and stir fries.

  1. Melt a mixture of 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a large sauté pan. 
  2. When melted, add a teaspoon of powdered seasoning such as in the roasted nuts, and stir until well blended.
  3. Add a cup of nuts of choice and stir to coat.  Cook over medium low heat, tossing pan constantly, until nuts are golden brown.  Pour into a strainer and allow to cool. 

Caramelized Nuts

Stove Top Version

  1. Place 1 cup of nuts, ¼ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat, and cook, stirring for 5 minutes (seasonings such as cinnamon and nutmeg can be added while stirring).
  2. Pour onto parchment paper and allow to cool, then break apart with hands. Store in a sealed container at room temperature.

Oven then Stovetop Version

  1. Toast the nuts in the oven first. Next, make a traditional caramel in a saucepan with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon butter and toss in the nuts when ready.  Try using a bit of Grand Marnier or other liqueur in the caramel and then pour onto parchment paper to cool.

Sweet Dusted Nuts

Whether it’s cocoa, mint powder, cinnamon or vanilla, making sweetened nuts is simple, and a great alternative to chocolate and candy. Sweet dusted nuts are great chopped and sprinkled on oatmeal, yogurt or ice cream.

  1. Toss nuts in whisked egg white, just enough to coat, then add powdered spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice or ginger and a sprinkle of sugar. 
  2. Toss well then transfer to a lined baking sheet and bake on a low heat, 250°F, for 30-40 minutes or until golden and the mixture is caramelized on the nuts.

For cocoa or mint dusted:

  1. Soften ¼ cup honey until runny. Add a few drops of vanilla if desired then add 1 cup roasted nuts and toss to coat well. Strain off excess liquid. 
  2. Place cocoa in bowl, add nuts and toss to coat all nuts. The best way to do this is to lift and shake the bowl. Spread on a lined tray to dry. 
  3. For mint dusted, combine ¼ cup each: powdered sugar and corn starch. Add a few drops of peppermint essence.
  4. Add nuts to coat and proceed as above.

Nut Butter

Description

You won’t go back to store bought nut butter after making your own. It’s easy to do, tastes so much fresher, you can use any nut or even a blend, and, most importantly, you know exactly what’s going in it.  All you need is a food processor or high-speed blender. Each nut behaves differently because of texture and oil content, and different processors will take different times, so it’s really a matter of experimentation. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of tree nuts (choose your favorite)

Instructions

  1. Roast 1 cup of nuts (you can use raw nuts, but the flavors and ability to make butter are greatly enhanced after roasting) in a 350°F oven for 8-12 minutes. The denser nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts and macadamias, take a bit longer than walnuts, pecans and pistachios.  Check after 8 minutes – they should be just browning and aromatic.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  Hazelnuts can be bitter if you keep on the skin, so place the nuts in a dish towel and rub off most of the skin before processing.
  2. Processing the nuts – add nuts to food processor and pulse on and off – first to crumbs, then continue to process until a paste starts to form. Scrape down sides, then continue to process until desired consistency–this may take 10-12 minutes, sometimes up to 20 minutes in less powerful processors.  If it’s not looking like a paste is forming, add a few drops of a nut or olive oil to help the process. 
  3. Flavor (or not) – you may just like to eat your nut butter pure and natural, or make your own designer butter adding ingredients such as honey, maple syrup, soy, chili, nutmeg, chocolate (think Nutella), truffle oil, or stir in jam or jelly to make a swirl.

Tips

Storage – It’s best to store the nut butter in a sealed jar in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to a month.

Variations

  • Almond butter – Spread on warm bruschetta and top with sautéed mushrooms and sage.  Finish with a squeeze of lemon and pepper – wonderful with chanterelles if they’re in season.
  • Walnut butter – Spread on crackers then top with brie cheese and a fruit paste such as quince or fig.
  • Hazelnut butter – Add to a toasted tomato and cheese sandwich with some fresh basil leaves or arugula, and a drizzle of good olive oil to complete the experience.
  • Pecan butter – Delicious when spread on grain toast with honey and a sliced banana.
  • Pistachio butter – Spread on pizza crust before topping with vegetables or mortadella and mozzarella.
  • Cashew butter – Perfect for Asian inspired dishes, whisk with soy sauce and lime juice and toss though noodles just before serving.
  • Brazil nut butter – Avocado Toast spread with brazil nut butter adds a unique depth, and is especially great with a garnish of cherry tomatoes, mint and ricotta.
  • Macadamia Butter – Just like real butter, this makes the base to a wonderful healthy shortbread. Or, spread on hot scones with jam for a decadent treat.

Pumpkin Walnut Bread

Description

You will fall in love with this ultimate pumpkin bread recipe loaded with California walnuts, aromatic fall spices and a crunchy sugar crust.

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup chopped California walnuts
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • Top with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and coat with flour.
  2. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg in a large. Add walnuts and toss to coat.
  3. Whisk together pumpkin puree, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs in a medium bowl until smooth.
  4. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened, being careful not to over mix.
  5. Spread batter in prepared pan and sprinkle sugar evenly over the top.
  6. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before removing from pan and slicing.

Pistachio Cucumber Smash Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 1⁄2 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
  • 3⁄4 ounce Pistachio cordial*
  • 3⁄4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 2 slices fresh cucumber
  • 4 leaves fresh mint

Instructions

  1. Muddle (gently mash) cucumber then add other ingredients in a cocktail shaker
  2. Add ice and shake well for 20 seconds
  3. Strain over fresh ice in an Old Fashioned glass
  4. Garnish with cucumber, mint and a couple of pistachios.

Pistachio Cordial – Instructions (Makes 8 ounces)

  1. Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a pan. Bring to a low simmer and stir for a few minutes until sugar has fully dissolved.
  2. In a blender place 1/2 cup unsalted, roasted pistachios and add the sugar water
  3. Optional – add 1 drop of rosewater
  4. Blend for 30 seconds and allow to sit for 2 minutes
  5. Strain out solids and collect cordial
  6. Keep refrigerated until ready to use

Pistachio Rim

  1. Put half a cup of dry, raw pistachios in a blender or spice grinder and grind finely.
  2. Be careful not to overgrind as any moisture will turn the ground pistachios into a paste.
  3. Pour your ground pistachios onto a small plate or bowl.
  4. Moisten the outside rim of your glass with a cut wedge of lemon or by using some sugar water.
  5. Then dip the glass upside down into the powdered pistachios so that they stick well onto the rim of the glass.
  6. Give the glass a gentle tap before turning the right way up, then fill with ice ready to receive the cocktail.

Almond Horchata with Honey & Spice

Description

Created by Chef Christine Farkas of IHeart Food Consulting on behalf of the Almond Board of California.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cups unsweetened rice milk
  • 8 tablespoons almond protein powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ vanilla bean, scraped (optional)
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cinnamon sticks, as garnish
  • ice, as needed

Directions

  1. Place both milks, protein powder, honey, vanilla, ground cinnamon and sea salt in a blender and process until smooth.
  2. Pour over ice, garish with cinnamon stick, and enjoy immediately, or portion into bottles, refrigerate and enjoy for snacking on the go.

Lemon Lavender Almond Protein Bar

Description

Created by Chef Christine Farkas of IHeart Food Consulting on behalf of the Almond Board of California.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups not packed, Unflavored almond protein powder
  • 1 cup Sliced almonds, blanched
  • 1/3 cup Hulled hemp hearts
  • ¾ teaspoon Sea salt
  • Pinch Citric acid
  • 3½ cups Dried apricots
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon extract (sunflower oil, lemon oil) OR Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2½ teaspoons Lavender flowers, food grade

Garnish

  • 1/3 cup Sliced almonds with skin, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons Dried lavender flowers, food grade

Instructions

  1. Combine almond flour, almonds, hemp, sea salt and citric acid in processor and pulse until the nuts and seeds have broken down into smaller pieces. Combine almond flour, almonds, hemp, sea salt and citric acid in processor and pulse until the nuts and seeds have broken down into smaller pieces.
  2. Add the apricots, lavender and lemon extract and pulse until a smooth consistency has been reached.
  3. Press mixture firmly into a lined tray (10” x 12” or similar), ensuring the mixture is pressed down into the edges and corners. Depth should be less than ½ inch.
  4. Sprinkle the garnish of toasted almond and lavender on top and press into the mixture fully and evenly. Cover with wrap and chill until solid, approximately 2 hours.
  5. Cut into 16 rectangles and enjoy.

Choco-Almond Smoothie

Description

Both creamy and dreamy, this drink has an impressive 13g of protein and is the perfect, energizing post-workout treat. Instead of your regular protein powder you can also opt for a plant-based almond protein powder! 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chilled chocolate-flavored almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 scoop chocolate-flavored protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Almond Butter Fuel-Up Bites

Description

So nutritious and super-delish! The plant-based 6g of protein and 5g of fiber in every bite will help you to fuel up fast with this ultimate no-bake snack. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 3 medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Optional: 10 unroasted whole almonds

Instructions

  1. Combine almond butter, coconut flour, medjool dates, maple syrup, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and salt into a food processor or blender and combine until the mixture is super-smooth (Tip: pause the food processor/blender several times to pull all the ingredients to the middle using a spatula while mixing).
  2. Scoop mixture onto parchment paper and hand-roll into 10 evenly-sized balls.
  3. If desired, roll the balls in unsweetened coconut flakes and top each ball with a whole almond for added texture and crunch!
  4. Chill balls in fridge for at least an hour.

Almond Tamari Crisps

Description

Created by Chef Christine Farkas of IHeart Food Consulting on behalf of the Almond Board of California. Perfect for enjoying as is, including in snack packs!

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 sheets of roasted sushi nori, crushed into small pieces, reserve some for garnish
  • 6 tablespoons brown rice syrup
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons tamari

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 320F. Prepare nonstick baking mat on baking traying, ready for use.
  2. Coat a large mixing bowl with the melted coconut oil, along with a spoon you plan to use for mixing.
  3. Lightly toast almonds and seeds and combine fully in bowl with the crushed nori.
  4. In a small saucepan combine brown rice syrup, honey, and tamari with a whisk. Heat, bring to a controlled gentle boil and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the base has thickened, whisking often.
  5. Pour the thickened syrup over the almond mixture and combine thoroughly, ensuring that all the nuts and seeds have been coated and combined well.
  6. Pour the mixture immediately on top of a non-stick baking mat and tray, press firmly down, evenly, approximately 12” by 9” for the length and width. Sprinkle remaining garnishing nori on top.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and cool until easy to manage with hands.
  8. Cut into pieces and allow to cool fully. Enjoy immediately, or store in airtight container and enjoy later as a snack.

No-Bake Pecan and Raspberry Bark

Description

Blogger Tati Chermayeff of Healthful Blondie shares a simple, 4-ingredient treat that’s gluten-free, vegan and will satisfy your sweet tooth –  No-Bake Pecan and Raspberry Bark!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 9 ounces of chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons dehydrated raspberries

Instructions

  1. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate chips and coconut oil. Heat in 20-second intervals, stirring in between until melted.
  3. Pour pecans into the melted chocolate and spread across the lined baking sheet.
  4. Sprinkle some dehydrated raspberries on top and place in the fridge or freezer for 20-30 minutes until firm.