Walnuts, almonds, pepitas, or pine nuts — most people have a stash of nuts and seeds in the cupboard. And with the help of some other common ingredients, you can transform this simple snack food into something special. Perfect for entertaining guests or just your grumbling stomach.
1. Roasted and Spiced
The simplest way to spice up nuts is with, well, spices. Don’t be afraid to get creative here. The more unexpected the combinations, the better — like warm curry, honey and herbs, or cocoa and Sriracha. (Or any of these five starter blends.) Once you’ve picked your mix, coat the nuts or seeds with butter or oil, and then follow these roasting instructions. Snack on them right away or keep in an airtight container for when cravings call.
2. Fruit Toast with Nut Sprinkles
You know what is easier than making toast? Making "fruit toast," which is really just slicing hard fruits (like apples and firm nectarines or peaches) into rounds. These fruit rounds beg to be slathered with a creamy cheese or yogurt, and sprinkled with your favorite mix of crumbled nuts and seeds. Tip: If the BBQ is hot, grill the fruit first before adding the toppings for extra savory flavor.
3. Yogurt and Nut Parfait
This is a very simple way to start or end your day. Layer yogurt and nuts with either sweet fruits and jam or more savory additions, like olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Or give your favorite dessert (Baklava!) a yogurt parfait makeover. Whatever combinations you choose, make a few jars before the week starts and then grab and go as hunger strikes.
4. DIY Nut Bars
A handful of ingredients and a handful of minutes are all you need to make your own energy bars at home. Best of all, most DIY nut bar recipes let you mix and match ingredients depending on what you have — like the final bits in the cereal box, straggler chocolate chips, and of course, nuts. If you have time to bake, try this nut and fruit bar recipe. Or for those days when free time is limited, try this no-bake, vegan nut bar for a truly quick snack.
5. Nutty Guacamole
Add some crunch to a crowd favorite — guacamole! — with the help of toasted, crushed nuts (or seeds) and cheese. Sprinkle the top of your smashed avocados with toasted pumpkin seeds and queso fresco. Or use any duo of nuts and cheese you have on hand — like walnuts and blue, pine nuts and goat, or pecans and Pecorino.