Some times we crave nuts in our mouths, some times salty ones and sometimes sweet ones. This is a pictorial of a recent session of this nut (yours truly) making a batch of...
...for a healthy and fun snack that is Diabetic Friendly (that means: Low Glycemic).
The photos are in chronological order with some explanations ....although don't expect any explanations for my nuttiness. If you're nutty, like me, or a bit Dyslexic (like me), you learn things quicker if you can see them being done, as opposed to just reading directions. Visuals (photos, graphs, drawings) or actual demonstrations (live or videoed) are a big help to some of us that suffer from Dyslexia, or are just nuts.
Nuts have one draw back, at least for me and others that are nuts ...for nuts. That draw back is they are high calorie (but low in net carbohydrates) and if you are trying to loose excess body fat or keep it off you gotta watch your daily amounts (portions) of nuts. But, as with everything you eat, no matter how health the food is, portion sizes are important anyway. "Too much of a good thing" is an old saying that comes to mind here.
If you are into muscle building and strength training or weight lifting (such as myself) nuts have a bonus of being a good source of the all important muscle building and maintaining nutrient: protein. Body Builders, both the roid freaks and the naturals, can tell you all about the importance of protein for building and maintaining muscle tissue not from a scientific point of view (see highlighted link in previous sentence) but from a practical point of view. I am not a "body builder" in the sport definition of the term, but I do lift weights regularly and work to maintain the muscle I have gained and strive for more muscle growth -so you could say I am a body builder, or into body building, in the generic sense. Because I want to gain more muscle and keep what muscle I already have, making sure I get plenty of protein in during the day is important. But, eating meat (I am no Vegetarian, nothing against them though) is not the only way I get my protein. Eggs, cheese, and nuts, are my regular (daily) protein sources as well meat (chicken, turkey, and beef).
Nuts are not only a good source of protein, and a good healthy food in general, they make for a great snack. Again, you just gotta make sure you don't over indulge if you're watching your over all daily caloric intake (and not just you carbohydrate intake). If you are like me, nuts .....about nuts, you know you can't just stop at a small handful without a conscious effort. The easiest way to watch your portioning of nuts is simply pouring a specific amount out of the package/container (they come in or are stored in) into something (a bowl or your hand for example) and putting the rest of them away where ever you store them (into a cabinet, on a shelf). I found actually using a measuring cup and pouring out a 1/4 of a cup and then dumping them into a bowl helps. Generally a small handful is a "serving size" -a quarter of a cup- if you don't want to mess with measuring cups and bowls.
Ok, without further ado let me introduce you to my nuts...
* Disclaimer: This recipe is NOT my own, so I take absolutely no credit, or blame, for it.
The original recipe for the Sweet Cinnamon Nuts (which was given to us by someone, who knew someone, who knew this thing, that....well, you get) was for a total of 2 cups of a mixture of Pecans, Walnuts and Almonds.
I have made a few batches of these sweet cinnamon nuts since we were first slipped this super secret sacred script and we have yet to of included almonds. No particular reason, I am just a rock-n-roll rebel like that ....and I'm never gonna stop being one.
It really doesn't matter what mixture of nuts you use or if you only do one type of nut, say just pecans, or whatever. Nor does it matter if you only do 1 cup or 10 the recipe is super flexible and so easy even a non-chef, cooking impaired, nut, like me, can follow this recipe.
For this photographed session I did a large batch of nuts, 7 cups total. It was a mixture of two kinds of nuts (a third being me, but that's a whole different story) which was made up of 4 Cups (16 oz) of Walnuts and 3 cups (12 oz) Pecans. Being cursed, or perhaps blessed, with a bit of Dyslexia, math (like spelling) is a bit of challenge for me so I had to really work at what probably is very simple math to you: adjusting the amount of ingredients for the large batch I was making. I got'er done though, and the batch came out awesome.
As the below photos show I started out with two bags of nuts. One nut sack was full of 16 ounces of Walnuts and the other had 12 ounces of Pecans -yes I know that one was slightly bigger than the other, it is what is, ya gotta go with whachya got, that's life.
I set that thar heatin' box, the oven, to 300 degrees, that's fahrenheit, by-the-way, just so ya know. While it was a-heatin' up I opened up the nut sacks and dumped both of my nuts into a bowl. In the photo below you will see just the prettiest three, I mean two, kinds of nuts you've ever seen?
Like my nuts?
The recipe calls for 1 egg for a batch of 2 Cups, but being as I was making a 7 Cup batch I put 4 eggs in the bowl with the nuts...
.... Uh, well actually I had to break and beat them in a separate bowl first, poor guys....
After pouring the mutilated innards of my friends, the eggs, into the bowl of my nuts I used two cooking spoons and tossed my nuts about (keeping them in the bowl of course) so as to coat them thoroughly with the egg guts.
Then I got out the "spice" maaaannn .....the cinnamon.....
...and the bag of the good stuff ....you know, the white powder stuff.
...To be more specific, the Diabetic Friendly "fake sugar" stuff. I know, I know, the artificial sweeteners, of any sort, are not good for us. But, if you have just gotta have something sweet (besides the naturally sweet like fruits and honey) to eat things made with manufactured sweeteners are better for Diabetics than the manufactured cane sugar.
I am not Diabetic, but I love someone that is. Living with someone that has to monitor their blood sugar (blood glucose) daily really is an eyeopener in that it shows you what foods can raise glucose levels in the body and what foods don't. Certain fruits can really raise blood sugar levels while less glycemic (lower carbohydrate) foods help the level stay within the healthy range.
The fake (manufactured) sweeteners are not the best thing for our bodies, but they do not raise blood sugar levels. I know all of the internet hype and fear mongering about the dangers of artificial sweeteners and I do not doubt most of it. I mean, come on, "manufactured", "processed" anything put out by the modern "Food" INDU$TRY can't be good for us. Like the late great Jack Lalanne said: "If man made it I don't eat it". But, we Americans are all "addicts", or "recovering addicts", and our national addiction is to white, processed SUGAR.
So many preachers, and the piously self-righteous, rage against the so-called "sin" of using alcohol, cannabis ("pot') or tobacco but few, very few of the holier-than-thou types, ever dare point out the Number #1 ingested addictive killer in America. Want to know what they don't? Because they themselves are addicted to it! And it is white, processed SUGAR. Sugar addiction is Enemy Number One, as far as I'm concerned, when it comes to destructive addictions.
Our ancestors, before white processed sugar was widely introduced in the 1890's by the cola/soft drink industry, only knew fruits and honey as sweets. Refined (processed) white sugar did not exist until around 500 AD and then it took over another 1000 years before it became any sort of component of the Western diet. By the early 1900's the use in foods, and thus consumption, of the granulated "drug" was widespread in Europe and America.
Sorry, I didn't mean to go off on a tangent, but my point about the use of artificial sweeteners, in moderation, is that they are "better" than the use of refined sugar. In the case of a Diabetic who may have an extreme issue with maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, to a point that he/she can't even eat a piece of fruit, artificial sweeteners go a long way to ease the sugar cravings that we all get from time to time. If anything some sweet treat every now and then, to the bad Diabetic, can have a psychologically uplifting factor. Diabetics get frustrated, even depressed at times, because they can not eat the sugary sweet junk non-diabetics can, and they miss that.
Considering the fact that almost all Americans are either Sugar Addicts or recovering ones -and thus addicted to the most statistically damaging and deadly "drug" known to modern man, I have no problem preparing, or sharing, recipes that include "fake" sugar, artificial sweeteners.
What I DO strongly suggest is to eat artificial sweeteners in moderation.
The ultimate thing for us to do is to only eat naturally sweet foods like fruits and honey. But, we have all eaten of the "Forbidden Fruit" and have tasted the sensuality of sugar's sweetness. An immediate transition to a totally unsweetened eating life is not easy. Yes, I know, some people have kicked the white sugar habit entirely, on their own (not out of necessity due to a diagnosis of Diabetes) and by choice. The reality is, just as some people can kick the nicotine (smoking) addiction seemingly over night, others struggle with quitting and have many false-starts and failures before they can quit entirely. Even then they may still have occasional cravings for a cigarette for years after quitting.
Addiction is a horrible thing, no matter what the substance is, but admitting you have the unhealthy addiction to processed sugar is the first step ......yea, I'm talking to YOU, the self-righteous one that thinks you can judge me for my tattoos, heavy metal music and use of colorful words.
Okay, now that we have gotten my lil diatribe against Sugar (and Hypocrites) out and justified the use of artificial sweetener (in moderation of course), let us continue with spicing and sweetening up my nuts, shall we?
I poured on my nuts the appropriately measured amount of cinnamon (for every 2 cups of nuts you want 2 Teaspoons of cinnamon). My nuts were 7 cups so I used about 6 and 1/2 Teaspoons). A Teaspoon is abbreviated TSP and is 4.92892 Milliliters .....what ever a milliliter is.
Next, I measured out 1/3 (that's one third) cup of fake, artificial, "sugar" for every 2 cups. I poured a total of 1 and one third cups of sweetener on my big batch of nuts.
If you haven't already figured it out (you're dumb ...no just kidding) the raw egg goop all over my nuts acts as the "glue" that makes my nuts sticky so all of the sugar and spice and everything nice sticks to my nuts.
The next step was for me to dig around the cabinet and find a large enough baking pan for my big batch of nuts. A cookie sheet would of worked, but I prefer something deeper for my nuts to bake in so that there would be less chance of any nuts falling out. Don't want your nuts falling out. I then sprayed some olive oil aerosol non-stick spray all over the baking pan, well, just all over the inside.
The aerosol spray oil is fascinating to me. I mean how do you get the oil to spray like that?
It tastes ok though.
Speaking of "o" "k" the cooking spray is also marked "Kosher" with the little K in circle, so Talmudic Jews can eat it -along with Ziploc bags and Dawn dish soap, and thousands of other products. I explain this bizarre fact further in my video here.
I then spread my nuts out in a loving, gentle, manner, all over the baking pan.
And then, just like Nazis allegedly did the Jews, I shoved the nuts in the oven.
If you don't have the amount of nuts I have and only have 2 cups of nuts then the total baking time will be 30 minutes. I had to bake my big 7 cups of nuts for about 50 minutes.
You will want to be sure and disturb or stir your nuts every 10 minutes else they'll get stuck together. You don't want stuck together nuts, trust me -they will be all clumpy and stuff.
Once I was done baking the sweet cinnamon goodness onto my nuts I removed them and set them on a cooling rack to cool off.
One added benefit to this process is as my nuts bake, they make the house smell all nice and cinnamony! Nothing like great smelling nuts!
You can put the warm nuts in your mouth straight out of the oven if you wish. But I let my nuts cool down and afterwards put them in the re-purposed/recycled/reused plastic container pictured below. I placed the (32 oz - 2lbs) container of store bought salty nuts next to the container containing my nuts just for a visual comparison of how much sweet nuttage I got.
Wouldn't you just love to put my sweet nuts in your mouth?