Roasted Maple Chai-Spiced Cashews

Maple Chai-Spiced Roasted Cashews

Thirty minutes before friends were set to arrive, I heated maple syrup in a skillet until it was sticky. I was making this salad from Saveur Magazine. No more than five minutes later, the cashews were candied and slowly disappearing while they cooled. (Who? Me? Steeling cashews from the pan? Never! 😏)

The cashews from that salad reminded me of the honey sesame cashews Trader Joe's sells in it's trail mix section. But better, because maple syrup. All things maple syrup are better, right? 

Those cashews sat in my mind for the next week. My eyes had been opened to something new: homemade maple cashews, and the flavor possibilities were endless. Maple Cayenne Cashews. Maple Cinnamon Cashews. Maple Rosemary? It could work. 

Maple Chai-Spiced Roasted Cashews
Maple Chai-Spiced Roasted Cashews

But the flavor profile that really got me excited was Maple Chai (you know how I love all things chai-spice). 

And now? Now I don't think I'll ever go back to Trader Joe's honey cashews. These homemade puppies are easy to make (we're talking a 10 minute recipe) and I find the maple flavor, with a bit of warm spice, SO. MUCH. BETTER. I couldn't stop eating these once they were made. 

And while I did no gifting of these cashews, and we ate most of them while they were still warm, they would also make a pretty little gift. Can you picture a mason jar filled with Maple Chai-Spiced Cashews tied up with a festive bow and a little name tag? Cute! And so sweet, in more ways than one. 

Maple Chai-Spiced Roasted Cashews

P.S., I did also try the Maple Cayenne idea but with pepitas instead of cashews. After they were candied they needed something else, so then I drizzled them with dark chocolate. They were good, but I liked these cozy cashews more. 

Roasted Maple Chai-Spiced Cashews

Published November 30, 2017 by
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Serves: 8   |    Total Time: 10 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 2 cups roasted, unsalted whole cashews 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground anise
  • 1 pinch ground cloves

Directions:

  1. Prepare a baking pan with parchment paper or a Silpat (affiliate link!). Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine cardamom, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, anise, and cloves. Stir to combine.
  3. Heat maple syrup in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 1-2 minutes, stirring, until it begins to thicken. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add spice mix to syrup, stirring to distribute.
  4. Now, add cashews to skillet. Stir using a spatula or wooden spoon until all cashews are coated. Scrape cashews with maple syrup onto lined baking sheet and spread out into a single layer, breaking up large clumps. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes.

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Salted Chocolate Covered Date Caramels

Salted chocolate covered date caramels

Remember last week I said I went to the Made In Nature test kitchen and made these raw gingerbread treats? I'm going back today to help with another treat that is a perfect last minute holiday gift! These Salted Chocolate Covered Date Caramels are made using no refined sugar, but they're sweet as can be! Dates are one of the sweetest fruits in the world, I like to think of them as Mother Earth's candy. I find they also have a caramelly taste and smooth texture that I just can't turn down. Did you know there are over 40 different cultivars of dates? I had no idea, until I started researching, because in my local stores I can only find Medjool and Deglet Noor dates.

Salted chocolate covered date caramels
Salted chocolate covered date caramels

For this recipe, I used Deglet Noor dates. Deglet Noor are considered to be a less sugary variety but I still find them very sweet. This sweetness couples very well with a little salt on top-- just like real caramel! Plus, salt flakes add a little sparkle that make them shimmer in the light. 

You can make this recipe in just a few quick steps, so if you are still trying to decide on a gift for a friend, or you want to bring something sweet to your Christmas or Christmas Eve party, these are perfect. Tie them up in a bow and everyone will be in love with them. Check out the step-by step on the Made In Nature Instagram account around 9am (MST) today and click their profile photo to watch their story about these caramels! 

Salted chocolate covered date caramels

Salted Chocolate Covered Date Caramels

Paleo, Primal, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print This Recipe

Dates are turned into a soft caramel.

Yields: 24   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • Flake sea salt or Fleur de sel
  • 1 6-ounce package Made in Nature Organic Deglet Noor Dates
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Put dates in a glass and cover with warm water. Allow to soak for at least 2 hours (and up to 24).
  2. Drain dates. Place dates in a high-speed blender or your food processor, along with 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, and puree until a smooth sticky paste forms. Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper, and spread date paste in pan in a single, even layer. Place pan in fridge to set for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate: Heat chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter/coconut oil over very low heat, stirring to prevent overheating the chocolate on the bottom. Remove sauce pan from heat when chocolate is almost fully melted— allow it will melt the rest of the way using residual heat.
  4. Get out a new piece of parchment or wax paper. Set on counter. Now, remove date paste from fridge. Use a sharp knife to cut it into squares, about 1 inch by 1 inch. Clean off your knife with hot water occasionally to make cutting easier.
  5. Dip squares in chocolate one at a time. Allow excess chocolate to drizzle off, and place on clean parchment. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat this step until each square is dipped and has a bit of salt.
  6. Allow the chocolate to harden, and then peel them from the parchment. Place in gift box or on serving plate.

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Chocolate Mint Tea Blend

Chocolate Mint Tea Blend

I've never figured out the whole meditation thing. I know, I know, it would probably do me a lot of good. But my patience is fleeting, my focus is like a pin ball and my energy boils over like an unattended pot on the stove. Which, some of you may take as further evidence of my need for meditation, but trust me on this: all of those things make it very had to get started. 

Everywhere I've ever looked, meditation was described as simply not thinking or clearing your mind, or for beginners like me, focusing on something simple, like your breaths. It's a beautiful thought, it really is, but do you know how long I last simply not thinking

Chocolate Mint Tea Blend

If your guess was you don't, then you nailed it. 

But then I was out at dinner, and someone described meditation in a totally new way: it's focusing your energy on visualizing the best expression of your compassion.

I'm just going to let that sink in for a minute there. 

Chocolate Mint Tea Blend

Ok, did that resonate with you at all? Guys, this makes me want to meditate! I also now have this voice following me around, one that just pipes in every once and a while. Was that the best expressions of compassion you've got? 

Anyways, I've always found I can more successfully focus my energy into one thing if I have a cup of tea in hand. Trying not to think about anything is also easier with a cup of tea in hand, especially one that is soothing. You know how crazy I am about chocolate, so you can imagine that this tea is right up my alley. ❤︎

Chocolate Mint Tea Blend

Chocolate Mint Tea

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

Yields: 1 cup finished tea blend; 48 cups brewed tea   |    Total Active Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup spearmint
  • 1/4 cup peppermint

Directions:

  1. Using a clean coffee grinder (make sure there’s no leftover coffee grounds in it) or a mortar and pestle, grind the cacao nibs just slightly— until they’re broken up. Don’t not grind them all the way into a powder. Then, place ground cacao nibs, coconut and cloves in a small sauce pan. Place sauce pan on the stove top over medium-low heat. Gently toast the spices/coconut, stirring occasionally until ingredients become fragrant. Remove from heat.
  2. Once cooled, combine the cacao nibs, coconut, and cloves with the spearmint and peppermint leaves in a 1-cup jar. Place lid on jar, and shake until everything is combines and well distributed.
  3. To make a cup of tea: Heat 1 cup of water to a boil. Put 1 teaspoon of tea blend into a tea strainer, and place over mug. Pour water through tea, and allow to seep for 5 minutes. Remove tea strainer, sweet tea to taste, and enjoy. (Scale this to make a whole pot of tea using the ratio 1 teaspoon tea blend to 1 cup hot water)

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