Orange Rosemary Infused Holiday Nuts

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It’s the most crazy time of the year! Or so the holiday song goes, although I think they say “wonderful” rather than “crazy”. And while the holidays certainly can be magical, a buzz starts to ring in my ears right about now.

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We all have food to make – a lot of it – and time pressures to contend with. If you haven’t already, you are likely to sift through Food and Wine, Real Simple and Cooking Light looking for this year’s winner holiday recipe. And when you realize that the Crab Dip recipe will not only add another hour of cooking time into your day, but also add hundreds of unnecessary calories, well, now you’re at a loss.

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I have a solution for you, an appetizer that you can actually make days ahead and that is still filling in a good way.

I have been making these Rosemary Orange Infused Holiday Nuts for years for any holiday party or dinner I host or attend and they are always a huge hit. The inspiration came from a classic Ina Garten recipe but you know how Ina’s recipes are: notoriously filled with a bit too much salt, sugar and fat.

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I took some liberties to tweak the basic recipe. A little less sugar and oil. Hope Ina doesn’t mind.

Heres the good news: make these nuts today and you can still serve them on Thanksgiving. Put them in a pretty bag and they make a great hostess gift.

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But heres the best news: we all know that nuts are good for us, and in this season, we might as well try to make some of our calories count. Healthy fats, spices and herbs makes these nuts filling and a good way to tide you over until dinner. And while were at it, let’s do something nice for us and make a batch of these no stress, impressive bites to always have on hand for any festive occasion. Enjoy!

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Orange Rosemary Infused Holiday Nuts

Make about 4 cups

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole unsalted cashews
1 cup whole walnut halves
1 cups whole pecan halves
1/2 cup whole almonds
1 tablespoon organic canola oil
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons organic light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, more to taste

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, the canola oil, the maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, chili powder on the sheet pan; toss to coat. Add 1 tablespoons of the rosemary and salt and toss again.

2. Spread the nuts in one layer. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring twice after each 10 minute increment with a large metal spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining rosemary and a little more salt if you feel they need it.

3. Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool (they will get pretty sticky so don’t skip this step). Serve warm or cool completely and store in airtight containers at room temperature for up to a week.