Chili and Chinese Five Spice Toasted Almonds are a quick, easy, and healthy snack. Perfect for munching on at home in place of junk food, or great for a party. They make an elegant homemade addition to a fruit and cheese platter. Read on, or jump straight to the recipe HERE.
You’ve made it this far into January. You’ve been trying to eat healthier, you’ve been good… but if you’re like me, you miss good ol’ fashioned snacking.
Snack foods are my weak spot. And often times, they’re my downfall when I’m trying to eat well. Good old salty, crunchy, munchy… junk food. Resistance is futile.
Or is it? These chili and Chinese five spice toasted almonds are a simple, healthy snack I’ve been making to ward off cravings. They’re salty, smoky, a little bit spicy, and with just a hint of sweetness. They hit all the right spots to satisfy my need for snacking.
Chinese five spice is one of those flavors that always intrigues me, but I can rarely put my finger on. Five spice powder is a combination of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns… and they come together to make their own, unique flavor.
The fennel, clove, and star anise give it a natural sweetness, while the cinnamon and peppercorn balance the flavor and turn it into something so much more tantalizing. Add a little smoky heat from the chili powder, and you’ve got a winning combination.
You can make these just to keep around for when cravings strike, but I’ve also found they make a great party food. Keep a bowl of them on the table for munching, or you can serve them up with fruits and cheeses for a fancy, no fuss appetizer.
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 2 TBSP coconut oil
- 1 tsp. chili powder (you can use a bit less or more, depending on how strong your powder is)
- 1 tsp, chinese five spice powder
- ½ tsp. fine grain sea salt, or more to taste
- optional: ⅛th-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (depending on how hot your chili powder is)
- optional: 1 tsp. coconut sugar, sucanat, or brown sugar, if you want the nuts a little sweeter
- Add oil and nuts to a large skillet, and sprinkle with the spices and salt (you can leave out the cayenne and add it at the end, if you want a little more kick). Set over medium heat and cook, stirring or shaking often, until the nuts have started to darken slightly and smell toasty, about 7-10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle over the coconut sugar, if using. Taste, and add add cayenne or additional chili powder if you want more heat, while the nuts are still hot. (Keep in mind that the nuts will have a soft, mealy texture while warm, but will become crunchy again once they've cooled.) Do not add seasoning once the nuts have cooled, or it won't stick. While the nuts are hot, taste for salt and add more if needed.
- Allow to cool completely. Nuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a few weeks.