I love to have nuts but why cant we add some spice to them as well. With so many holiday treats being filled with fats and sugars, these candied nuts will at least offer you some herbs to help support your digestion and keep you warm at night. The only challenging part of making this nut mix is to make a caramel. If you have never done this before it is a fun but time consuming activity. You can start the caramelization process before you mix together all of your other ingredients.
- 1 cup granular sugar
- 1 cup water
- 6 cups of various nuts (I used almonds and pecans)
- 2 cups mixed ingredients (cranberries, other dried fruit, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, chocolate bites, or similar)
- Spices (2 tbsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp clove, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cayenne)
Begin by starting your caramel. In a sauce pan, combine your sugar and water. Have them over medium heat. They will begin to boil. The water will slow the temperature rise of the sugar to make it a bit more controllable. The water will eventually evaporate. If this happens and your sugar is still granular simply add another splash of water and continue heating. Your sugar solution will eventually turn a medium brown color and while stirring it will leave a trail along the bottom of the pan. When you are seeing this, add your herbs and continue to stir until the mixture starts to thicken.
While you are waiting for your sugar to carmelize, combine your other ingredients on a parchment paper coated baking sheet. Have them well mixed already. When your spiced caramel is ready, quickly remove it from the heat and pour evenly over your nut mix. It will cool quickly but be careful as hot sugar can create some bad burns. Use a wooden spoon to try to mix the sugar evenly over all of your mixture. When it is starting to cool you may find it easier to mix with your hands so you can pull apart the larger chunks.
Spread your mix out over the baking sheet and allow to cool completely. You will notice that your caramel will harden and become a bit crunchy. When completely cool, store in air tight container. Enjoy!
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. The Dancing Herbalist posts on this blog every Thursday. For more of our posts, join us on Patreon. Jillian also presents regular live classes in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online. For more learning opportunities or to work one-on-one with Jillian with her wellness and herbal consultationsvisit The Dancing Herbalist.com.