Apparently, almonds are a superfood. We’ve always thought of them as just super-tasty, but what do we know? As it’s the second Monday of the month, we wanted to make up a quick, easy snack for the people who volunteer along with us staffing one of our weekly walks. And, being the New Year, with all those resolutions, how can you go wrong with a superfood?
Plus, making these almonds is so easy, it might not quite qualify as a true recipe; however, when we first read about them in The Cowgirl Creamery Cooks, by Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, we thought they sounded so tasty that we had to make them, share them, and share the recipe with you.
Makes 2 cups.
Until recently, we’d never had smoked paprika in the house. At the store, it seemed too expensive, and we couldn’t think of what we’d use it for, so we always just passed it by. But, at Penzey’s Spices, it’s pretty reasonably priced (not a plug; just where we get some of our spices), so we picked up a bag. Let us tell you something: this stuff is fantastic! It has a nice smoky flavor, and is oh, so tasty in almost everything, that we can’t believe we hadn’t bought it before. We add it to soups, when we cook greens, just about anything savory. And now, these roast almonds. So no, plain paprika is not an adequate substitute. If you’re going to skimp anywhere in this recipe, use a flavorless oil such as canola, but don’t mess with the smoked paprika.
Procedure in detail:
There really isn’t too much more we can add to the above instructions, but we’ll try.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Yes, use parchment, even if you have silicone baking mats. You want the heat to come through on the bottom of the pan, too, and the baking mats provide a small layer of insulation. If you don’t have parchment, use an ungreased sheet. You’ll have to clean more, but….
Drizzle with oil. The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of olive oil, but we started with one, and that coated the almonds quite nicely, so that’s what we put in the ingredients list. If you think you need more oil, add it, but don’t add so much that the almonds are swimming. Once you’ve added the oil, toss to coat the almonds evenly.
Season. Add the paprika and salt, and toss to coat. Toss everything around so that the nuts are evenly coated, then transfer to your prepared baking sheet.
Bake. Slide the tray into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until the nuts smell fragrant and are heated through. They’ll crisp more as they cool, so keep that in mind when you check them. Also, watch carefully, as nuts burn easily, and burnt nuts don’t taste so good.
Cool. Let the nuts cool completely on the tray,
eating testing a nut from time to time to ensure they’re completely cool before packing in an airtight container. Oh, and share them, too.
How can you go wrong with these? We mixed them up and had ’em in the oven before our morning tea steeped. They’re that easy. Plus, they’re almonds, so they’re bound to be tasty, right? Right. These are tasty, mostly savory with the smoky paprika, and with just a hint of salt to keep that snacking craving going, but not so much that you feel as if you’re munching on something that came from the salt mines. These are definitely a four-star nut.