When it comes to snacks, I’m a crunchy-salty kind of gal. Potato chips, cheese curls, tortilla chips all have graced my snack tray. There’s something so comforting and satisfying about the crunch on the palate, the salt on the lips, and the oily residue on the fingers that these snacks provide.
Sadly, these tasty treats have become a very occasional indulgence, but for my taste, there is still nothing like a salty crunchy snack. What’s a gal to do? Oh, nuts! Really, I mean nuts. In their natural state they are a healthy and satisfying snack. With a little imagination and some mostly healthy ingredients they can become the perfect cure for that salt with crunch craving.
There are many good for you nuts out there that provide healthy fat, fiber, and protein to your diet. They are nutrient dense and their rich taste lets a little go a long way. Right now, I’m sharing a recipe for almonds so lets see what this tasty little seed (it is the seed of the fruit of the almond tree) has to offer.
Twenty three almonds (about an ounce) provides about 160 calories, 3 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein and 14 grams of healthy fats. There’s also a generous dose of vitamin E. It boasts many health benefits including aiding in lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol and blood sugar. Most of the almonds we eat are grown here so that means you are eating American. The U.S. is the number one producer and California is the epicenter.
Enough about the wonders of almonds, let’s talk about how to make them even tastier. To create the smokey flavor I use a generous dose of sweet smoked paprika. I use a touch of garlic powder and sugar, along with a little salt.The almonds get tossed with some olive oil before the savory ingredients are added.A slow roast in the oven and they’re read to eat.
You can make this as spicy or sweet as you want. I often add some rosemary and a little black pepper, but let your herb and spice preferences be your guide.
In a medium size bowl, toss the almonds with the olive oil until they are nicely coated.
Mix the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl. Add to the almonds and toss to coat evenly.
Spread the almonds out on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in a 300 degree oven for 18 - 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
When the almonds are light golden remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely on a rack.
Store in an air tight container. Enjoy in moderation if you can.