12 Days of Healthy Holiday Gifts: Spiced Nuts
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In the midst of all the holiday sweet treats, sometimes you just need something savory to munch on. Making your own spiced nuts is simple and a not-so-expensive holiday gift. Make a double batch and serve some up to guests this holiday season.
When making spiced nuts, it’s important to remember that each nut has about 7 calories and a fair amount of fat (even though it's the unsaturated kind). This makes watching portion sizes essential (stick to about 1/4 cup per person).
When cooking up the nuts, you can either blanch them (a brief dunk in hot water) or use a touch of oil to help the spices stick. The decision is yours, but the oil will add more unsaturated fat and 40 calories per teaspoon.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl combine nuts and oil, if using; toss to coat. Add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and salt. Toss to combine. Place nuts on a baking sheet and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before serving.
* Note: The total fat content exceeds the HealthyEats guidelines, so snack moderately!
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »