(Note: this post was originally published on March 1, 2020. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)
Welcome to spring! Well, almost. Now that we're into March, I'm super excited about everything spring, especially maple syrup. I'll be celebrating my love for maple syrup with these snackable, protein-loaded, unbelievably addicting Maple Rosemary Cayenne Roasted Nuts.
These nuts are a flavor explosion. They're sweet from maple syrup, but herbaceous and woodsy thanks to rosemary, and have a very subtle heat from cayenne. They're a perfect appetizer, happy hour snack, easily portable lunch item, or salad topping. You need these nuts in your life, and they only take about 25 minutes to make!
Being a native Vermonter, maple syrup is near and dear to my heart. My parents even make their own syrup and it's amazing! It's such hard work hauling all the sap around, boiling for hours on end, and eventually canning it for the year to come; I really admire all the time and energy they put into their sugaring operation. It all happens in a frenzied few weeks, usually in early March, although the timing depends on the weather.
Maple sap (i.e. what comes out of the tree during a few weeks of early spring) is only a few percent sugar whereas maple syrup should be 68% sugar according to Vermont regulations, so you do the math... it's a heck of a lot of boiling!
Maple syrup is, of course, delightful on its own. But the thing that makes these nuts extra special is infusing the maple syrup with rosemary and cayenne. It ensures that those flavors are distributed evenly across the nuts rather than clumped up, making each nut the perfect balance of sweet, herby, and spicy.
There are numerous different ways you can customize these maple-kissed nuts. Use whatever combination of nuts you want (just make sure you're starting with raw nuts!). I've shown a combination of pecans, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios, but choose what you love.
You can also adjust the heat. As written, these are just barely warming, but you can omit the cayenne entirely if you're not into spice or amp it up if you want more.
Looking for a great homemade gift? I've packed up cute little bags of these nuts on numerous occasions! Because nuts are so rich, even a few handfuls is a special treat to share with friends or family members. Just make sure to cool them completely, then pack them into little bags or containers. They'd make for a great gift all year round, since these flavors can really work in any season.
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
One of my goals in this post is to convince you that maple syrup has so many more applications other than just as a topping for pancakes or as a baking ingredient. The complexity of maple syrup's sweetness is actually the perfect complement for savory flavors, such as the rosemary and cayenne in these nuts. It's a great salad dressing ingredient and a lovely glaze for grilled veggies or proteins.
Hope this recipe brings you some feelings of spring, which we call "sugaring season" in Vermont!
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
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Exploding with sweet maple, fragrant rosemary, and a tiny kiss of heat, these nuts are a go-to in our house. Enjoy them as an appetizer, a healthy snack on the go, or even on top of salads.
Did you make this recipe? Did you make substitutions? How did you serve it? Any helpful tips? Please share your thoughts, since these insights are really useful to both me and to other readers.
I love to create colorful, veggie-filled, seasonal dishes that celebrate the beauty and diversity of plants. Take a look around at all my favorite recipes, there's so much to explore here!
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