I’ll admit it… I’m kind of a sports geek. The three sports I care about most – the NBA playoffs (sorry, Lakers :(), soccer finals (Chelsea!), and Formula 1 races (Sebastian Vettel!) – are all in high gear right now. But what are sports without some delicious one ingredient snacks?!

These roasted cashews draw inspiration from Asian/Indian spices with just enough sweetness to create a beautiful caramelized and crunchy exterior. They’re like a much more unique and flavorful version of your typical honey roasted cashews but without all the weird ingredients and preservatives.

Spicy Cashews

Makes 2 cups (8 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw unsalted cashews
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • For optional cashew salsa: diced tomato, basil, and red onion

Note: Don’t let these spices limit you! I’ve made this recipe on several occasions and always use a different combination of spices. Feel free to experiment with curry powder, chili powder, ginger, cinnamon, or whatever else you want to try.

Step One

Preheat the oven to 300º F. Add the cashews to a mixing bowl and pour all the other ingredients (minus the sea salt) over the top. Roll up your sleeves and use your hands to toss/coat thoroughly.

Step Two

Transfer the cashews to parchment paper or a Silpat and bake for about 7 minutes. Then, remove from the oven and toss with a spatula to ensure even coating. Bake for another 5-8 minutes until the cashews become light brown — if they get too dark, things are probably burning and you don’t want that! (The ones in the picture below are actually slightly overcooked.)

Sweet and Spicy Cashews

Step Three

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Straight out of the oven, the cashews will be soft and rubbery, but they develop a much nicer crunchy texture after cooling.

For a Cashew Salsa…

Sweet and Spicy Cashews

As an optional step, you can very finely dice some tomato, red onion, and basil and toss with the cashews. This combination seems a little bizarre at first, but it’s really fresh and interesting; it would work great as a unique hors d’oeuvre for a party.

Spicy Cashews

Spicy Cashews