Keeping things simple in a not so simple world

crazy for nuts

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We do not have a nut allergy in our house.  And for those who do, you have my utmost sympathy.  I do not know how I would live without nuts.  We eat them all the time. They are the perfect snack for kids, replacing straight-up carbs with protein, carbs and healthy fats. They are the perfect snack for a mama on the go.  I typically purchase almonds, walnuts and pecans at Costco.  They have very large bags of nuts that I can freeze until I need them.  For other nuts, like peanuts, pine nuts or hazelnuts, I go to Trader Joe’s or Whole Food’s bulk section.
Did you know that walnuts are a power food?!?
Or that nuts lose their healthy fat if they are not kept in the fridge or freezer?
We use nuts as a replacement for meat (that actually fills you up!) Such as this lovely recipe for Raw Taco Salad.

We often make trail mix when we go hiking, picnicking, or on day trips. Or roasted mixed nuts for parties. I’d like to share these two snack ideas with you today.

Trail Mix
The lovely thing about trail mix is that pretty much anything you have in the house can be used. Here are the basic items we use for trail mix. I did not include quantities because it depends on how much you want to make. But you can always freeze what you do not use for later.

Nuts (usually a mixed variety of peanuts, almonds, walnuts or pecans)
Dried fruit (unsweetened raisins, cherries, cranberries, goji berries, chopped dates, figs or apricots)
Chocolate chips (dark is best!)
Pumpkin seeds

Maple chili roasted mixed nuts

4 cups raw, unsalted nuts (I usually do 1 cup each almonds and walnuts, 2 cups pecans or 1 cup pecan and 1 cup hazelnuts)
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon or more chili powder
Kosher salt to taste

Pre heat oven to 300 degrees.
Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until nuts are coated.
Oil or place parchment on a large baking sheet.
Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes, stir.
Cook for another 15 minutes, stir.
At this point your nuts may be finished, or they may need more time. I find that mine usually take about 40 minutes. Keep on eye on them as they bake. Nuts can burn very easily!


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