I always liked swimming. When I was in 5th grade, I decided to try out for the team. I loved it but sucked at the competition part. Recreationally I could have done it for hours but me in a competition was a bad scene. I would literally choke and sink. Anxiety gripping even back then hindered me from ever successfully going through with competing long term, so I eventually stopped that affair. Though admittedly, I truly enjoyed practice and hanging out with friends.
But what I liked most was the ritual that took place after nearly every practice. There was a bit of time before our bus trip back to our tiny German village so my friends and I would hit up the, I guess what Americans would refer to as, penny candy store. It was thrilling. The anticipation, the lively debate over which gummy candy was best and which ones would be the choices du jour. Little gummy coke bottles, multicolored worms, sugar covered bears and spaghetti strings would make for a buzzy return trip home. I still wonder how the bus driver put up with us time after time.
But things have changed. These days I’m hardly the candy person I once was. And no it’s not just because I eat in a healthier way. Even prior to my paleo ways, one could put an entire bowl of gummy or other candy in front of me and they would be left untouched to eventually dry out and end up in the garbage. Candy just doesn’t do what it used to.
Nowadays what gets my brain doing a happy dance involves a combination of fat, sweet and salty, in the form of roasted sweet and salty nuts, particularly walnuts. I mean I have some self control but when it comes to candied walnuts, all hope is lost. So many nooks and crannies where the delicious sweet and salty goodness can sneak into, that even as I write this my dopamine levels are on the rise.
You may think I’m exaggerating but I’m not. I recipe tested these maple cardamom candied walnuts several times and tried really hard not to eat them all. I was marginally successful. What I love about them is just how simple they are to make and truthfully, compared to conventional candied nuts, are far less sweet and use only quality ingredients. You need maple syrup, coconut sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, salt and obviously walnuts. The rest of the magic happens in the oven. I also recommend letting them cool completely before eating them (all).
paleo maple cardamom candied walnuts
prep time: 2 minutes
roasting time: 10-15
yields: 2 cups
2 cups walnut halves
1-2 tbsp maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like them)
1 tsp coconut sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
medium mixing bowl
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In mixing bowl combine all ingredients aside from walnuts and stir well. Add walnuts and stir until evenly coated.
Spread walnuts on parchment paper lined roasting sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes on top rack stirring once.
Let cool completely before eating.