The South Asian influence in cooking is not only a taste trend; it’s a health trend too. With the research on spices pointing towards the benefits of the antioxidants they contain; this recipe is tasty with a hit of health in every handful. (I love alliteration) Factor in that almonds have been shown to lower cholesterol and this is really a win/win.
1. Adjust oven rack to the middle. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 9×13-inch (3.5L) rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl whisk together the maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, allspice, cloves and cracked pepper till slightly thickened and well combined.
3. Add almonds and using a rubber spatula mix till the nuts are really well coated.
4. Pour out onto prepared pan. Spread them out into one layer.
5. Place in oven and roast for 30-35 minutes or until the nuts are dry and crispy looking. Don’t let them burn; check half way through to see if they are over browning on the bottom. If they are, carefully pick up the edges of the parchment paper and roll them around. If that sounds too weird or complicated, flip them with a flipper. Return to oven.
6. When browned and done remove from oven and leave on baking sheet till completely cooled. They will crisp up as they cool.
7. They actually taste better the next day after the flavours have melded together, but feel free to munch on a serving today as long as they are totally cooled. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
From Healthy Starts Here! (Whitecap 2011)
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