A delightfully quick, easy, and nutritious fall snack, these Pumpkin Spice Candied Almonds are a healthy way to get your pumpkin spice fix, and are a great accompaniment to a fall inspired cheese board!
These days it doesn’t take much for me to feel like I’ve conquered the world. Actually, it’s quite embarrassing that now when I accomplish the most menial of tasks I really, truly feel like I deserve a trophy. ((Oh, excuse me, is my millennial showing?))
Like on last Thursday, for example. I vacuumed our bedroom, emptied the dishwasher AND got one load of laundry started. And while that doesn’t sound earth shattering, when Anthony got home from a late night at work I was so giddy with pride and excitement for my accomplishments, that I swear he thought I got a double promotion at work.
Nope, just vacuumed, put some dishes in cupboards, and started laundry. Not finished; started. This, my dearest ones, is what we call #momlife.
So, as you can imagine, I don’t have nearly the same amount of time for food prep and leisurely baking as I once did. What were my weekly (ok, twice weekly) batches of granola have turned into my every-other or (gasp!) monthly batches of granola. And the corners I cut when I do have time to cook/bake? Let’s just say there have been lots of kitchen fails over the last year.
But every now and then, those cut corners turn out to be one of the best darn things to come out of my kitchen. Like these Pumpkin Spice Candied Almonds.
When an intense craving for my pumpkin spice granola came over me during our first fall(ish) feeling day, I was faced with a common dilemma: the baby was already 5 minutes into his 25 minute late afternoon nap (you can set your watch by this one), so time was tight. Plus, a serious case of mom brain at the store the day before meant I was still completely out of gluten-free oats. [note to self: buy oats, darn it. And make lists. I hear those help.]
But the need for a wholesome, crunchy, pumpkin spiced snack was real – when is it not? – so I threw a few simple ingredients together and prayed desperately for the best. I can’t remember the specifics of that day, but I do remember that I really needed just one victory, even if it was tiny and simple.
Let me tell you – God heard my prayer. Like really, really HEARD IT.
If it’s any indication of how they turned out, in the last 3 weeks since that fateful day I have made 6 more batches and every morsel is gone. And no, I did not share. At all.
These pumpkin spice candied almonds are my new everything (behind my boys, of course). They’re rich, inviting, and taste almost sinful, yet they’re protein-packed, guilt-free, and overall a healthy snack. Impressively quick and easy to make, to boot. Just 15 minutes start to finish, with 5 simple ingredients – almonds, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and fresh ground black pepper.
If I can handle that, you can handle that. Trust me.
Don’t have any pumpkin on hand, or don’t feel like popping a whole can just for one measly Tablespoon for this recipe? I feel you and don’t worry. While I really love how the tiny bit of pumpkin puree makes the spices really adhere to the almonds giving them an extra crunch, they can be made without the pumpkin puree, using a little extra maple syrup in its place. They’ll come out a little more sticky that way, but they are still wonderful.
If you do have pumpkin puree lying around, though, I highly, highly recommend. For the leftover pumpkin puree, I have a “few” pumpkin recipe recommendations here. 😉
Speaking of other pumpkin recipes, today happens to be the annual #VirtualPumpkinParty! Over 90 bloggers (holy pumpkin!) have joined together to share their favorite pumpkin recipes on the same day – you can check out all the fun creations on Sarah’s Virtual Pumpkin Party page!
I can’t promise that all of the recipes will be as simple as these Pumpkin Spice Candied Almonds, but they’re sure to be delicious. Bring on the pumpkin!
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
- 2 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 Tablespoon pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- ½ teaspoon coarse, fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin pie spice, pure maple syrup, and pumpkin puree. Add in the almonds, tossing to coat thoroughly.
- Turn the almonds out onto the baking sheet, spreading them out into a thin layer. Sprinkle the fresh cracked black pepper evenly over top of the almonds.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and give the almonds a quick stir, and then spread back out to an even layer and allow to cool completely.