Food gifts, like these slow cooker spiced nuts, are a great way to share the love this holiday season
This post is sponsored by our friends at Frontier Co-Op
How to have a merrier holiday season:
- Spend more time with family and friends, both old and new. The act of gathering together over food or gifting another with a homemade treat connects people in a way that social media or a quick ‘hello’ can ever do. At it’s most basic, food is love.
- Make these Slow Cooker Spiced Nuts and share them with all of your friends. Or make them for your next holiday gathering. Or make them for a sweet little treat for lunch boxes or to add to your morning bowl of yogurt or oats.
These may be habit forming (in a good way)
It really couldn’t be any simpler than adding nuts, maple syrup, honey, orange zest, vanilla and spices (and LOVE) to a parchment paper-lined slow cooker and letting the low and slow heat work it’s caramelizing magic to create this simply amazing holiday treat.
And there’s just something about the heavenly scent of cinnamon, ginger, allspice cardamon, nutmeg and vanilla that fills your home when these spiced nuts are cooking. You may find yourself making several batches this month. Some for you and some to gift to others!
For this recipe I used Frontier Co-op Organic spices which are widely available in grocery stores nationwide in both little bottles and in bulk. The beauty of being able to get them in bulk means I can get just what you need without having to commit to an entire bottle – I mean, I love allspice but how much can I really use an entire bottle in 6-9 months (which is the recommended self-life for ground spices)? I also love that their spices are organic, non-GMO and sustainably sourced meaning they’re gentler on the planet and take into consideration the welfare of the farmers and their families who grow and harvest them.
Cooking with extracts and flavorings from Frontier Co-op
Because they can react differently, it’s important that alcohol-based extracts (and not water- or vegetable oil-based flavors) are used in all recipes that specifically call for an extract. Likewise, flavors should be used in recipes that call for them specifically. If using flavors in order to avoid consuming even slight amounts of alcohol will want to utilize recipes that specifically call for flavors.
Water-based flavors work especially well in flavoring beverages like teas, cocktails and juices, while oil-based flavorings are best used to flavor fat-based ingredients. For example, our sunflower oil-based lemon flavor is ideal for a lemon buttercream frosting.
Vanilla extract, which is made by steeping vanilla beans in alcohol, is the most widely used of all the extracts and flavors. It’s commonly used to flavor desserts, especially baked goods and ice cream, although a number of chefs have shown it to be an interesting ingredient in savory dishes as well.
You really should make these merry-making, holiday-enhancing, incredibly snackable Slow Cooker Spiced Nuts right now before things get too busy. I love to add them to a cheese or vegetable and hummus plate or sprinkle them over roasted pears or apples. And chances are good that your guests – like mine – will love them no matter how they’re served.
And, they really do make the sweetest little gift when packed into little jars.
- 4 cups raw mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, etc.)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. honey (or additional maple syrup for vegan-friendly)
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. ground allspice
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp. ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- Line a slow cooker with parchment paper, pressing the excess paper against the sides and creasing as needed so it lays flat against the side of the slow cooker insert.
- Place nuts in slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker and stir until nuts are evenly coated.
- Place lid on slow cooker and set to LOW heat. After 30 minutes, remove lid and stir nuts. Replace lid.
- Continue cooking, stirring every 30 minutes, until nuts are sticky and fragrant (about 2 - 3 hours depending on your slow cooker).
- Use parchment paper to carefully lift nuts out of slow cooker. Place on a large baking sheet, stirring occasionally until completely cool.
Products used in this recipe
What are your favorite food gifts to give and receive? Share in the comments below.
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This post was made possible by our friends at Frontier Co-op. Though we received compensation for this post, the opinions expressed here are – as always -100% our own. Thank you for supporting the great companies we work with thereby allowing us to continue creating great recipes and content for you.
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