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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Mixed Nuts with Thai Flavors


These savory mixed nuts are full of Thai flavors: coconut, lime, tamari, and ginger. A Thai cook would add some sugar, but instead I added a touch of honey. I usually recommend eating foods unsweetened, but in this case, a small amount of a natural sugar really helps balance the spicy and salty flavors. You can make this healthy snack ahead or time it right and serve it straight from the oven, just slightly cooled. When the nuts are still warm they have a unique soft and succulent texture.

I used peanuts because they are an essential ingredient in Thai cooking, along with cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. You could substitute an equal amount of nuts and seeds of your choice. I used blistered peanuts, which are soaked before they are roasted (Find them at Trader Joe's). Peanuts are actually a legume, not a true nut, so they should be soaked and cooked before eating. True nuts and seeds should be eaten raw to maintain the integrity of the anti-inflammatory essential oils inside.

  • 1 tablespoon  coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lime juice (about half a lime)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup blistered (soaked prior to roasting) or dry roasted peanuts

  1. Add the coconut oil and honey to a large glass or stainless steel bowl. Set it over a sauce pan filled with an inch of simmering water until they both have liquified. Turn off the heat and set the bowl on a heat-proof surface.
  2. To the bowl add the lime juice, fish sauce, tamari, ginger, and as much cayenne as you like. Whisk everything together.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and toss until the coconut, nuts, and seeds are thoroughly coated with the sauce.
  4. Taste for seasoning and make any necessary adjustments. Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the mixture from the oven and stir. Spread it out again and continue baking until lightly toasted, about 10 to 15 more minutes.
  7. Remove the mixture from the oven. Allow it to cool slightly if you're serving it immediately or cool it to room temperature and store it inside an air-tight glass container for future use.

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