Happy Vietnamese New Year: Spiced almonds with a kick

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Last year when I was in Vietnam for Tet I got to experience one of the most common Vietnamese New Year’s traditions: visiting family and friends on New Year’s day to wish them joy and luck in the New Year. They will always invite you inside to sit down for tea and snacks. On everyone’s coffee table is a box divided into little compartments filled with different kinds of nuts, dried coconut … little goodies. So, you sip tea, snack on nuts and chat. You don’t have to stay for long, twenty minutes or so is typical. The important thing is that you make it a point to spend some time together. It’s a nice tradition, eh?

Inspired by those coffee table boxes of goodies, here’s a quick and easy recipe for spiced almonds. From our house to yours, Happy New Year!

In a large bowl mix together coconut oil, maple syrup and spices.

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Toss in nuts (I used 2/3 almonds, 1/3 pecans) and coat thoroughly with maple syrup mixture.

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Spread mixture out on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Let dry completely, then break apart.

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These suckers are addictive. They’re perfect for tapas and a good glass of red wine.

If you feel like it, package some up in cute little containers or baggies and call a friend for a get together. It’s the perfect way to start the New Year.

Spiced almonds with a kick
Makes 3 cups

1T coconut oil, heated to liquid state
3-4T maple syrup
1 1/2T cinnamon
1/2t ground ginger
1/2t all spice
1/4t nutmeg
1/4t cayenne
3 cups almonds (or walnuts or pecans)

  1. In a large bowl combine coconut oil, maple syrup and spice. Toss in nuts and coat thoroughly.
  2. Spread nuts out on baking sheet covered with parchment paper or other non-stick sheet and bake at 325F for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Let cool completely and break apart.
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