Recipe: Chili & Lime Toasted Almonds
I feel a little bit conflicted about this recipe because I’m giving you something that is so good and moorish yet I also have to tell you that you can’t eat too much of it. Damn you omega-6 fatty acids and your pro-inflammatory properties! Having said that, I absolutely love this chill, lime and almond flavour combination and when it comes to paleo snacks and entertaining guests, this recipe will become your favourite.
Before you go toasting those almonds, I have to warn you about how addictive they are – I call them Nut-crack-ers! It’s very easy to eat a whole bowl in one seating but you wouldn’t want to do that if you care about your omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids ratio. Don’t take me wrong, almonds are very nutritious – 100gm of whole almonds will give you 22g of protein, high percentage of monounsaturated fats, loads of Vitamin E, folate, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and many other minerals – but you have to watch your intake because they do contain a very large amount of omega-6 fatty acids, with very little omega-3’s to balance out the ratio. By no means stop eating almonds, simply to watch the amount you consume on daily/weekly basis and try to reduce your intake of omega-6 fatty acids in other foods like grain-fed meats and seed oils. Personally, I wouldn’t have more than a handful of almonds per day and luckily this chill and lime yumminess will last for at least a week in an air-tight container.
Cooking notes: Try to find macadamia oil. It has a very healthy ratio of omega6/3 ratio of 1:1, subtle flavour and a high smoking point, which makes it a perfect oil to use when toasting or roasting almonds. The reason we’re using oil in this recipe is because it’s the only way for the seasoning to stick to the nuts. Coconut oil, ghee or butter would solidify when cold and you’d end up with greasy almonds. Not so pleasant. Olive oil is your second option but make sure to bring the heat down to medium in the last step. You can kaffir lime leaf in most good quality green grocers or in Chinatown. I often see it in the supermarket as well. You can still make this recipe without the kaffir lime leave but it will be missing that gorgeous, tropical aroma.
- 2 1/2 cups raw almonds
- 3 tbsp macadamia oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped kaffir lime leaves (5-7 leaves)
- 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes or chopped fresh red chilies
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- Zest of 1 fresh lime
- 1/3 fresh lime, juice only
- 2/3 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp Tamari or other wheat free soy sauce
- Heat a large frying pan to high with no oil. Add almonds and cook on medium/high heat (5 out of 6 on the heat setting) for about 15 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds at the start and then every 15-20 seconds in the last 5 minutes when they start toasting quicker. What we’re after is a change of colour and a slight smoking/toasting/burning smell. Remove almonds to a side plate.
- Add macadamia oil, chill, garlic, and kaffir lime leaf to the frying pan. Stir and cook on medium heat for about 30 seconds. Add wheat free soy sauce, stir through and add back the almonds. Bring to high heat, add sea salt, lime zest and lime juice. Combine well and cook for another minute or two. Make sure to stir through continuously.
- Remove almonds to a wooden board or a large tray, ensuring all the seasoning is scrapped off the frying pan and added to the almonds. Cool off completely before storing in an air-tight container.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Number of servings: 12
If you like this, check out my Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook for more delicious paleo recipes, introduction to paleo nutrition and philosophy and a handy inventory of foods to focus on and avoid. Available on my website and on Amazon.com.