Sunday, November 2, 2014

Cocoa Chai Spice Roasted Almonds

Guess what?! My horses finally made it home to Texas. A three day trailer ride with a layover in Missouri got Angel and Halo down from Iowa in one piece (or, two pieces actually, each made up of a gazillion other pieces). I am so glad to have them close by again. I am far too neurotic to leave my pets that many miles away for very long.

For the first time since July, I got to rub horse noses and scratch horse ears, and hear that endearing little sound that Angel makes when she knows I have food for her*. It was so cute. Even though she had a huge hive of dried cockleburs hanging near her right ear. The rest of her mane was twisted into little black spirals and dredlock tangles... it was not cute. Halo had a few minor mane issues, too, but she has naturally beautiful princess cow pony hair (it's true -- just ask the little girls at Stagecoach Stables), so hers wasn't as bad after a few months of neglect.

Anyway, brushing a knotted labyrinth of horse hair is a fitting punishment for leaving them in Iowa without me for the last three months.  After a couple of days in segregation from the crowd, they were turned out with the rest of the Texas herd today on 65 acres of green grass and seem to be settling in nicely. GBT**.

Now lets talk about these almonds. Aside from horsing around, weekends are also for cooking (and taking pictures because I am home when there is sunlight and windows and time). I'd been eyeballing these Chocolate Chai Roasted Almonds from The Simple Veganista for quite a while***. I even bought an extra pound of raw almonds on my last trip to Trader Joe's****. As soon as I was in a functional-enough kitchen to do some testing down here, these made their debut. Here goes.

I followed the original recipe almost to the letter, but would definitely recommend backing off on the roasting time, as suggested in my version below. Obviously the time to roast will depend on your oven, so feel free to test them halfway and again at 15 minutes to ensure they do not burn. The almonds will be a little sticky at half time, but will be dry once completely cooked and cooled. And don't worry if they stick in clumps -- they will be very easy to break apart.

Cocoa Chai Spice
Roasted Almonds

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 17 min
Yield 12 servings

3 cups raw almonds
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, optional
1 heaping teaspoon cocoa powder
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1 heaping teaspoon cardamom
1 heaping teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper (I used white pepper)
a few pinches of mineral salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients until the almonds are well coated.
3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread almonds into a single layer.
4. Bake for 17-20 minutes, shuffling once in the middle.
5. Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to two months.

Calories 226, Total Fat 17 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium: 14 mg, Protein 7.6 g, Fiber 4.7 g

These things were so easy, but (alas) they are all gone now. SO.. I am looking for my next roasted almond recipe to try! If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments!

Everyone should be greeted in that way. It'll warm your heart, really. That is why she is my favorite.
** God Bless Texas.
*** I have also also made her Glazed Vegan Lentil Loaf. That recipe has been one of the most popular pages on this blog.... if you are interested. :)
****Dear Trader Joe: PLEASE PLEASE come to College Station. I'll pay you. Love, L.
*****Sorry for the excessive number of footnotes.

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