By now you know I like to keep things spicy around here and these nuts are no exception. I've adapted this recipe from The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook - and I must say this is an exceptionally tasty little snack. I've used a mix of pecans, walnuts and sunflower seeds here - though, really, you could use almost any combination of nuts and seeds. The original called for pecans, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds ... I used what I had on hand. I've added a bit of chipotle chili powder for kick and a dash of agave nectar for sweetness. Feel to omit the agave if you like and you could certainly opt for just the regular chili powder as well. If so, use 1 full tbsp. of chili powder in place of the chili/chipotle mix below.
Spiced Nut Mix:
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
- 2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 large egg white
- 2 tsp. agave nectar
- 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 cups of raw pecan halves
- 1 cup of shelled, unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup of shelled, raw walnuts
Lightly oil a large, rimmed baking or cookie sheet with canola or vegetable oil. Reserve. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, chipotle powder, salt, cumin and cayenne pepper, whisking well to combine. Reserve.
In a large bowl, combine the egg white, agave nectar and red wine vinegar and whisk until foamy, about 15 seconds or so. Add the nuts and seeds and mix well with a spatula to ensure an even coating. Sprinkle one third of the reserved spiced mixture over the nuts and toss/stir to combine and coat. Repeat, adding the remainder of the spice mixture by thirds and tossing after each addition to ensure an even coating.
Spread the nut mixture onto the oiled baking sheet in a single layer and bake in the middle of a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and, using a wooden spoon, break up any clumps and stir, prying up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Again, spread the nuts into a single layer and return to the oven. Bake for 5 to 7 more minutes or until the nuts have begun to brown. Do not over bake or let them burn. Remove from oven and transfer the nuts to a large, flat dish to cool. Break up any large clumps with your finger tips, transfer to a serving vessel, serve and enjoy!
As any good bartender knows, you move more liquor when your patrons have a salty-crunchy snack to go with. These spicy little treats will no doubt ensure a second round!
So what's your favorite cocktail snack? Thirsty Diva wants to know.