I’m definitely what you would call a snacker. My co-workers probably think I’m a glutton because I’m constantly munching on something over at my desk during the work day. However, since I’m turning 30 next month and I’m trying to hit my fitness goal, I’ve been crunching and munching on healthy snacks whenever I can to keep my metabolism up throughout the day. Enter, almonds!
I love to snack on a handful of plain, roasted almonds about an hour before a workout to give my body a little something to chew on, but not too much so that I feel like I’m going to throw up something that may have resembled almond an hour before (I’ve done this with banana right before a workout. HUGE mistake). Almonds also have fat in them, but it’s the GOOD fat. The fat that your body needs. The same kind that’s found in avocados and salmon. But, even though it’s a good fat, the calories can really add up fast if you’re not careful. So, since I’m working on a fitness goal, I like a handful to not go overboard.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve talked about my 3pm hunger flash that gets me every afternoon. I feel like I either need something sweet or something with caffeine in it to keep me awake to finish out my work day. I like to have a small mason jar of these at the ready for when the hunger flash strikes. The honey-vanilla almonds with sea salt taste a bit like almond brittle, but without all the processed junk that goes into it. Just four ingredients: raw almonds, vanilla bean seeds, honey, and sea salt.
And because I like you, I also made a savory version! My favorite savory almond recipe involves warm olive oil, fresh chopped herbs and garlic, red pepper flakes, and sea salt, but it’s not very portable and definitely messy, so I decided to come up with something with similar flavors, but that I can also take with me when I’m on the go. Enjoy both recipes and if you make either, I’d love to hear how you enjoyed them!
Honey-Vanilla Roasted Almonds with Sea Salt
yield: 2 cups
2 cups raw almonds
Scant 1/3 cup honey
1 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped, pod discarded (or used to make this!)
1/4 tsp sea salt or to your liking
Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, pour in the almonds. In a separate pan on the stove, melt honey over low heat until it’s liquified. Add the seeds from the vanilla bean and stir to distribute. Pour the warm honey mixture over the almonds in the bowl and stir well to combine. Turn the mixture out onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and spread it out to make a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes to ensure the nuts don’t burn. Remove when the honey mixture is a dark golden brown. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then sprinkle with sea salt and let finish cooling completely. Almonds store at room temperature for about a week, but I bet they won’t last that long!
Mediterranean Roasted Almonds with Rosemary and Lemon
adapted from Sprouted Kitchen
yield: 3 cups
3 cups raw almonds
1 large egg white
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
1-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 275°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine rosemary, lemon zest, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and sugar. Stir to combine and set aside.
In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg white until it’s very frothy, 1-2 minutes. Add the almonds and fold to coat the almonds with the egg white. Add the spice mixture and stir to coat all the almonds completely.
Turn the mixture out on the prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Sprinkle half the cheese on top and stir to combine. Return nuts to a single layer and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Crack the pepper and a generous sprinkle of sea salt over the nuts. Bake for 25 minutes, turning once to prevent burning.
Remove from oven and let cool completely.