oh the almond joy!

My family is crazy about almonds. They like peanuts fine and won’t say no to a pistachio or two, but watch out if there’s a bowl of almonds around! I also happen to like almonds; I put them on salads, in snack bars and on my morning yogurt, but for me it’s not just about the taste. Almonds are one of the healthiest of all tree nuts; they’re naturally high in protein, fiber, calcium and heart-healthy fats. These same attributes, not to mention their satisfying crunch, means that it only takes a handful (1 ounce or roughly 24 ) to help you (or me) feel full and replenished.

The other day I was in Target and I was starving. I wanted to grab something quick that I could eat on the drive to my daughter’s school, but I didn’t want junk. I took a quick stroll through the nut aisle and spotted a box of Emerald 100 Calorie Pack Cinnamon Roasted Almonds. 100 calories…reasonably healthy…easy to scarf down while driving…Sold! I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they were really tasty; not too sweet, perfectly crunchy and just enough in the package to make you feel satisfied but not guilty. I squirreled away the remains of my little box of nuts and happily snacked on them on and off during the week. And then the damn kids discovered them and ate the last bag on me. Sigh, kids. So I decided I should try to make them myself.

It wasn’t hard to find a roasted almond recipe, the world is apparently nuts for nuts, but most of the recipes I read were for candied almonds. Then I stumbled upon a clean eating blog and found inspiration! The original recipe was for cocoa covered almonds (which I’m sure are tasty but I haven’t tried), I instead tweaked it up and created cinnamon roasted almonds even better then what the folks over at Emerald are cranking out.

And in case you’re wondering, yes I was sure to make enough of these almonds to share with my family and I even gave some away as gifts. But you better believe I’ve got a secret stash all my own tucked away. Take that kids!

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
These are fantastic as a snack right out of the jar, tossed in a salad, or sprinkled on yogurt and can easily be doubled or tripled. Just be sure to hide some for yourself before sharing them with your kids.

cinnamon almonds

1 cup raw almonds
1 tbsp. real maple syrup
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)

  1. Preheat your oven to 275°F. Line a pie plate with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place almonds in a large bowl and drizzle with the maple syrup, stir well to evenly coat all the nuts.
  3. Place the cinnamon and flour in a small bowl and mix together. Sprinkle a few spoonfuls over the almonds and stir to blend. Continue the process with the remaining cinnamon mixture until it’s finished and the almonds are completely covered.
  4. Spread the nuts out in an even layer in the pie plate and roast for 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until fragrant and crunchy.
  5. Gather together parchment paper and carefully lift it and almonds out of pie plate. Spread the nuts out on parchment and allow to cool for 10 minutes before scarfing down (or storing in an airtight container).

*adapted from clean eating chelsey