Almonds are related to peaches, apricots and cherries. Unlike their pitted cousins, however, the edible nut is situated inside a tough, fleshy outer layer that becomes its hull upon maturation. Nutrient-dense almonds are an excellent source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils, protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin E. When you eat them roasted, you absorb more of their nutrients, because roasted almonds and other nuts are easier to digest than when they are in their the raw state. Although you can effectively roast almonds at a high temperature for a short period of time, decreasing the temperature while increasing the roasting time produces tastier almonds.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Position one of the racks in the center of the oven. Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Spread the almonds out on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
Roast the almonds for 13 to 15 minutes. Stir them once and spread them back out into a single layer midway through roasting.
Remove the almonds from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet, set on a heat-proof surface, for 15 to 20 minutes.
Whisk together the honey, water and canola oil in a medium bowl until the mixture is uniform.
Combine the sugar and salt in another medium bowl. Enhance the sweetness of the seasoning by adding ground cinnamon, if desired. You can also add some spice by incorporating a bit of cayenne pepper or Chinese five-spice powder.
Bring the honey mixture to a boil in a large saucepan or skillet set over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
Transfer the roasted almonds to the pan. Stir quickly to coat the nuts thoroughly in the heated honey mixture, until no liquid remains in the pan.
Remove the pan from the stove and place it on a heat-proof surface. Add the sugar mixture, stirring until the almonds are uniformly seasoned.
Return the flavored almonds to the baking sheet, spreading them into a single layer. Allow the nuts to cool for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they're dry.
Things You'll Need
Large baking sheet with 1-inch sides
2 medium mixing bowls
4 cups whole almonds with skins
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (optional)
Store fully cooled roasted and flavored almonds in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to a month.