Anyways, homemade roast nuts are a great holiday present. Nuts contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and are great for hearth health, so this is really a gift that keeps on giving! If you can figure out a good source for raw nuts and package them in a repurposed jar, this can be a really cost effective gift too. In Cambridge, raw almonds are $2.99/ package at Market Basket and raw sunflower seeds are $1.99/ package at Trader Joe's. Peanuts can also usually be found on the cheap! Below are two of my favorite recipes that I've developed. If you like the idea, but are worried about nut allergies, sunflower seeds work great for any of the coatings!
Maple Cinnamon Pumpkin Nuts (I recommend almonds and cashews!)
1/2c pumpkin puree
1/4c brown sugar
1/4c maple syrup
1T brown sugar
2-3c raw nuts
Preheat oven to 375F. Mix all of the ingredients except the nuts in a bowl until smooth. Add the nuts and stir to coat. Spread the mixture evenly on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. The nuts will still feel soft when you take them out, but they will harden upon cooling!
Chocolate Cinnamon Nuts (This works great with sunflower seeds and hazelnuts!)
1/3c cocoa powder
1/3c brown sugar
1/4c warm tap water (the warmth melts the oil and helps everything combine more smoothly)
1T coconut oil
2-3c raw nuts
Follow the directions above, using the chocolate ingredients. Same thing goes, they will be soft even when they are ready, so resist the temptation to over cook!