A crunchy, smoky Whole30 snack that is so addictively good, you will keep going back for more.
Survived the second week of my January Whole30. Woo!
I found a nifty 30 day “symptoms” calendar on the Whole30 website that shows how most people feel from week to week on the Whole30 program. A majority of Whole30ers reported that they found the second week the most challenging. I agree! This past week has been difficult for me and I was ready to give up multiple times.
My sugar dragon came back with a mean vengeance this week. Last week, I barely wanted anything sweet and I assumed this experience would be a piece of cake (hehe). Apparently, my sugar dragon didn’t appreciate being starved last week because now I would do anything for a bowl of ice cream or a chocolate chip cookie. I resisted the urge to break the rules and consume any baked good, but admittedly satisfied my sweet tooth with Lara bars and fruit.
To make matters worse, my mom informed me that my favorite Chicago bakery just opened a store in my hometown, where I will be visiting next weekend. The bakery is not close to my apartment in Chicago, so easy to avoid. However, the new location in my hometown is conveniently located close to my parent’s home. I will clearly need to avoid that area of my town reduce the risk of going to the bakery, ordering a dozen cupcakes, and stuffing my face!
There were also multiple instances this past weekend where I wanted to give up and just enjoy a glass of wine. I went out with a girlfriend on Friday to see a movie at one of those fancy movie theaters with comfortable reclining leather seats and a wine bar. Ohh what I would have given for a glass of wine to sip on during the movie. But I resisted.
On a side note, my girlfriend also ordered some popcorn and needed me to hold it while she used the restroom. People walking by probably thought I was crazy because I was holding the popcorn out in front of me as far away from my nose as possible.
The second instance came on Saturday during a fun day date with my husband. We ran a bunch of errands (which I found fun, my husband may disagree) and then stopped at a local bar for my husband to grab drink (a reward for his patience while I perused World Market for more food props). I convinced myself it would be a breeze sitting in the bar with my husband without a drink. Turns out it was harder than I expected. I sat sipping on my glass of water while everyone around me enjoyed champagne, margaritas, old fashioned, red wine. It would have been so easy to just go up to the bar and order my own drink. At one point, I convinced myself that doing Whole30 on the week days and drinking minimally on the weekends would still totally fulfill the program. Luckily, my husband gave me a pep talk and convinced me to remain strong (all while enjoying an ice cold beer himself, but it worked and I didn’t cheat).
Two things I learned this week: I need to avoid bars the last two weeks of the program and I need more savory snacks on hand. I tend to turn to fruit as a snack because it’s easy to eat on the go and I didn’t have a savory alternatively. I mentioned in my last post that I’m also not a fan of meat flavored bars so those are not an option for me. So I created a delicious savory snack that I can keep on hand at home or pack with me if I am on the go: my healthy smoky spiced nuts.
Let’s get to cooking!
First, you need to whip up the sauce that will go over the nuts. I actually use an egg white instead of oil. The egg whites helps to coat the spices on the nuts and makes the nuts super crunchy, but is much less fat and calories than oil. It also makes the nuts less greasy than if you use oil.
Whisk the egg white until frothy. Add in all the spices. I used smoked paprika because it has a nice smoky, slightly spicy flavor. To compliment the spice but also add a little sweetness without any sugar, I mix in allspice. Allspice tastes like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, so its both sweet and spicy. I also add garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper to make the nuts very flavorful. If you don’t have all of these spices, you can use any combination of spices you enjoy and have in your pantry. Feel free to be creative and come up with your own spice blend that fits your tastes.
I used a combination of almonds, cashews, and walnuts because those are my favorites (and what was available in my pantry). You can choose your favorites as well. Any combination of nuts will work for this recipe.
Pour the egg white spice mixture over the nuts so the nuts are fully coated. Next, spread the nuts on a parchment lined baking sheet. You will bake the nuts at 300 degrees for 15 minutes and then at 250 degrees for the last 5-10 minutes. Once the nuts are baked, allow them to cool so the coating can fully harden.
These spiced nuts will help keep my sugar dragon at bay this week. I will not be tempted to satisfy my sweet tooth with fruit when I can grab some of these nuts instead. They are spicy, crunchy, salty, and totally addicting.
Healthy Spiced Nuts
A crunchy, smoky, crazy addictive healthy snack.
- 1 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1 egg white
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Whisk the egg white until frothy - about 2 minutes. Add in all the spices and mix together.
In a large bowl, add in all the nuts. Pour the egg white spice mixture over the nuts and stir until all the nuts are well coated.
Spread the nuts out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Take the nuts out and stir the nuts. Lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes, stirring half way through to prevent burning.
Serve and enjoy!