Recipe: Rosemary Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Mixed Nuts

This is one of my favorite holiday treats! (ok, being honest, cookies are the favorite – but this is one that comes with a little nutritional boost!) A little salty, a little sweet, and a little spicy – all rounded out with hint of Christmas pine, and rich comforting maple.

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In addition to being lower sugar than most holiday treats, a 1/4 cup serving of these provides healthy fats, copper, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Rosemary Sweet 'n' Spicy Mixed Nuts

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups Mixed Nuts, unsaltedIMG_20171218_155651608
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/2 Tbs Rosemary powder
  • 1 pinch Cayenne powder
  • 2 Tbs Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbs Purse Maple Syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbs Butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Spread nuts onto baking sheet, bake 10 minutes
  4. Remove nuts and let cool
  5. While cooling, melt 1 Tbs butter. Set aside
  6. Mix remaining ingredients to make sauce
  7. Pour nuts into a large bowl and stir in melted butter, tossing to coat.
  8. Add sauce and toss to mix evenly
  9. Spread nuts back onto baking sheet, and bake 5 minutes. Stir, and bake another 5-7 minutes until golden and bubbly
  10. Cool for about 20 minutes; serve warm

Serving Size: 1/4 cup

You can heat the sauce mixture on the stove top over low heat to thicken it up. Then instead of a nice sauce, it becomes a thicker syrup and makes this treat more like a brittle.

 

Recipe from http://www.DublinDietitian.com

Rosemary Nuts

Have a great holiday season, however you celebrate!

Healthy Cookie Dough

…That you can eat without fear of salmonella! Nom nom!

And still fantastically easy to sit down and eat with a spoon – though I prefer to eat it with sliced apples.  This has been a wonderful item to bring to cookouts, or give as a gift.  Beans make up the base, giving this food a warm, rich, protein-and-fiber filled beginning.  It is sweet, so use it as a moderate treat!

Cookie DoughThis recipe I first saw on some Pinterest page floating around ages ago, that I took forever to get to. When first testing out this recipe, I spent a full day making a huge array of doughs from a huge array of beans (notes below).  Don’t you wish you could have been here taste-testing with me??  I did find that this dough freezes and thaws pretty well, so that’s good!  Make in bulk, and freeze in small controlled serving sizes 🙂

Healthy Cookie Dough

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy-moderate
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  • 1 1/2 cups cooked and cooled beans, or drained and rinsed canned beans (varieties noted below; you can almost double the amount if you use Black-eyed peas, or half the nut butter and dates with BEPs)
  • 1/8  tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3-4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup nut butter  (I prefer almond butter, but peanut butter is good, too)
  • 3 Tbs oats
  • 3 Tbs nut milk
  • 1/2 cup date paste (or approximately 1 cup pitted dates, adjust for taste preference)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or carob chips

Directions

  1. Soak and Cook beans or lentils according to directions. Let cool.
  2. Pour milk or milk alternative in a small bowl; add oats to let soak and soften
  3. Process dates and beans in food processor.  Add a little milk/alternative if needed.
  4. Add remaining items EXCEPT chocolate chips to food processor, and process until smooth dough-like consistency.  Fold in chips at the end (if beans are still warm, chips will melt in. Makes for a nice chocolate dough!)
  5. Eat, and try to stop before it’s all gone.
recipe from http://www.DublinDietitian.com

A variation I like is to add extra oats, use raisins instead of chocolate chips (or in addition to) and add some cinnamon.  Then it is oatmeal cookie dough.

Here are some notes about what Dave and I thought of the various bean bases:

Lentils – smoother texture, richer nutty flavor. Quick cook time.

Black-eyed Peas – great color, mild flavor so you can taste the nut butter you add.  Go easy on the dates at first, as you can taste it more easily.  May allow for using less nut butter and less sweetener while still enjoying the cookie dough taste!

White beans – perhaps it was a bad test run, but it seemed to take extra long to cook these beans.  And they didn’t blend as smoothly.

Navy beans – A mix between the black-eyed peas and lentils: not quite as smooth as the lentils, not quite as mild as the BEPs, but a good healthy base.

To me, though, the winner: lentils!  Quick to cook, no soak time, smooth texture, and something about that deeper, rich flavor that worked for me.  But a close runner up would be the mild, almost buttery Blackeyed peas.  These are also nice because you can go lighter on the nut butter and dates, and therefore get a higher ratio of protein and fiber to lower fat and sugar.

I made my first test batches with almond butter.  I love the healthy oils and the vitamins; peanut butter would make divine dough, though.  I tried cashew butter, thinking the sweet mellow taste would go well with it, but there really wasn’t much of a flavor addition from it so it felt more like a waste of calories.  Sticking with the rich almond butter, for me!

Grab some graham crackers, some fruit, or a spoon — And dive in!

Next project: to see if using butter extract and/or almond extract instead of vanilla, and a lighter bean base, may yield a dough reminiscent of shortbread or sugar cookies.

Who wants to come experiment with me? 😉

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