Tomorrow, Dave and I head up to north Toronto to pick up my grandmother and the three of us are driving to Ottawa for Thanksgiving. Spare moments this week have been spent putting podcasts on my iPod for the roadtrip, thinking about clothes to pack, and sorting out who we’re visiting when to make the most of the 2.5 days. I’ve also (surprise surprise) been thinking about food and what I can bring, and came across the same conundrum that I always run into when cooking for my family:
- Mum doesn’t eat wheat.
- Dave doesn’t eat dairy.
- Dad doesn’t eat desserts.
- Gramma doesn’t eat spicy food.
- Eli eats his weight in protein.
If you read that and immediately thought, “Well, that’s easy, I can think of at least a dozen recipes off the top of my head that will suit everyone,” listen, we should talk. I want to pick your brain.
What I came up with were these spiced candied nuts. No wheat, no dairy, not too sweet, not too spicy, and paaaacked with protein. They were speedy to put together – I had them in the oven while I ate my breakfast this morning – and they’re going to travel fabulously. They’re also versatile: think sprinkled on top of pumpkin pie, crushed onto mashed sweet potatoes, garnishing salads, topping vanilla ice cream. Or just set on a coffee table in a bowl for snacking*.
* These nuts are seriously addictive. Snack cautiously, or with abandon, as suits your particular Thanksgiving.
Spiced Candied Pecans
1 egg white
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cayenne or chile powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups pecan or walnut halves
1. In a large bowl, use a whisk to beat the egg into a froth (this should take about 10-20 seconds). Add all remaining ingredients but the nuts, and whisk to combine. With a spoon, carefully fold in nuts until evenly coated.
2. Spread nuts evenly onto a baking tray that has been lightly greased or lined with parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees, stirring every 10 minutes, until the sugar coating is dry (about 30 minutes total). Allow the nuts to cool before eating or storing.