Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Slow Cooked Chili Lime Almonds

I either heard or read a story recently about how wonderful nuts are as a healthful snack and good source of plant based protein and nutrients.  That story made me hungry and gave me a great excuse to cook up a good snack.  

Did you know that you can roast nuts in your slow cooker?  Well, you sure can, and they are delicious!  I daresay, using the slow cooker should reduce the risk of burning the nuts, something that may happen quickly when using the oven or stovetop methods.  

This method comes from the fantastic cookbook, Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, by Robin Robertson.  This book boasts a wealth of easy, plant based recipes that you can easily throw into the slow cooker and then live your life, carefree, for the next eight hours or so, at which time dinner will be ready.  

The flavors come from an appetizer I shared with my sister while visiting her in San Francisco.  She lovingly walked me to a super gourmet vegetarian restaurant, in the rain, to enjoy this and other delicious food.  I don't remember what else we ate, but those almonds were awesome and this is my attempt to recreate those flavors.  Now, if only I could recreate the experience of hanging out with my sister!  

This recipe works best in a three or four quart slow cooker.  You could probably make a larger cooker work, just watch the contents a bit more to make sure nothing burns.  Burnt chili powder is not a pleasant smell to grace your kitchen.

Slow Cooked Chili Lime Almonds

Makes 4 Cups

1 pound of unsalted, raw almonds
3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from one fresh lime or 3 tablespoons bottled lime juice
2 tablespoons chili powder 
¼ teaspoon salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a 3 or 4 quart slow cooker.  Stir well.

2. Cover, set the heat to high and cook for 15 minutes.
3. Uncover the slow cooker and reduce the temperature to low.  
4. Continue to cook the almonds for 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
5. Spread cooked almonds on a cookie sheet in a single layer to cool.  Once cool, transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to eat.  Enjoy!   

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