Saturday, January 28, 2012

Roast your own almonds

My friend Shelley is a nut.  Well, a nut freak.  And, frankly, so am I.  I don't love nuts in my baked goods so much. What I really like is a nutty taste.  Peanut butter makes me swoon (I know, it's a legume, but you get what I'm saying, right?).  Almond butter is delummy.  Almonds, I think, are delicious in general.  But man, are they expensive.  And, if you buy the already roasted and salted ones, they are often too salty.

So Shelley showed me how she roasts her almonds.  It's so simple it makes me laugh out loud.  And it makes me and my belly really happy.  And an extra benefit - it's economical and healthier than many other options.

That's because you start with raw, unsalted almonds.  They sell them in nice big packages for about $3.99 at my grocery store in the produce section, of all places.

Pour a handful or so onto a microwavable plate.  Drizzle on some olive oil and mix 'em up with your fingers so some oil gets on all the almonds.

Pop the plate in the microwave and cook them for 3 minutes.  That's approximate.  You sort of need to play this one by ear.  I like them cooked for 3:30 minutes, but that sometimes means I get a more burnt almond - which I really don't mind too much.  It also depends on the strength of your microwave.

Then, salt them with as much or as little salt as you like.  I usually use kosher or sea salt.  I just like the texture better, but table salt works fine.

And here's the hard part.  Walk away and let them cool down.  Sure, you can eat them hot.  But, I think because the moisture still in the nut, they'll be kinda chewy.  Yuck.  Ten minutes later, they are fabulous.  Heck, when I get up in the morning, I often pop a plate of them in the microwave and let 'em sit until they are cool and then throw them in a little ziploc-style baggie and take them to work to snack on all day.

They are nutty and yummy and worth a try if you, like me, are a little nutty about nuts.  Enjoy!

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