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Deliciously Organic: The Perfect Snack

Deliciously Organic

A blog devoted entirely to simple, wholesome, organic cooking.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Perfect Snack

Now that it's almost mid-December, this is usually the time when things begin to get very busy for everyone. There are the Christmas parties, gatherings in friend's homes, sending out Christmas cards (I've been spending hours each night carefully addressing and stuffing ours), shopping, and all of the other little things mixed in.  December is such an exciting and it has the potential to be exhausting at the same time.  A few years ago I decided, enough was enough.  I wasn't going to stress or overtire or overwork myself.  I want to really enjoy each day during the Christmas season and if that means I can't make every party I'm invited to then that's ok.  Last week we were invited to three parties, we made it to two, and decided it would be too much to make the last one (it was a large party with at least 100 people, so we knew friends wouldn't be hurt if we didn't show up), so instead we stayed at home, opened a bottle of wine, and watched a movie. Sadly, I was asleep at 8:30...

For the last few weeks we've been getting the most glorious, ripe, organic pears at our local market.  Plump and sweet and just a bit soft, they make the absolute perfect snack.  Pair it with a good roquefort cheese and some spiced pecans and you've got something spectacular.  Honestly, I've eaten this little meal every other day for the last 3 weeks.  Sometimes I pour myself a glass of wine, turn the Christmas tree lights on, grab a good book (usually a cookbook) and take a few moments to enjoy the season.  I hope you too, can take a minute to slow down, maybe make yourself the "perfect snack" and enjoy this special time of the year.

Spiced Pecans
I kept the cayenne to a minimum in this recipe so that it will be friendly for kids, but feel free to add more cayenne if you want them really spicy.

4 cups dehydrated pecans*
2 egg whites
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Pour egg whites into the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment attached. Whisk eggs on high until they hold a stiff peak. Lower the speed and slowly add the maple syrup (the eggs will deflate some). Pour egg mixture over pecans in a large bowl and then add spices. Toss together until thoroughly combined.

Spread pecans out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 3 hours (the pecans will still look wet at this time, but will dry out as they cool). Remove from oven and let cool completely.

*Nuts contain enzyme inhibitors which can be neutralized by soaking them overnight. This may sound like a lot of work but really it just takes about 5 minutes of prepping and then the rest of the work is done on the counter or in the oven. When they are made this way, they taste just like they've been roasted, but they are easier to digest and all of their nutrients are still intact. I make loads of soaked and dehydrated nuts and then keep them in containers in the pantry. Below is a simple recipe to follow for soaked and dehydrated nuts:

4 cups nuts (pecans, almonds, cashews, etc.)
1 tablespoon sea salt

Pour nuts in a large bowl and cover with water. Add salt and stir. Leave on counter overnight. The next day; preheat the oven to 150 degrees, drain the nuts, and spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet and pop the tray into the oven. Leave in the oven until dry and crispy (I usually do this overnight).


Anonymous Jenny @ Nourished Kitchen said...

That is so remarkably beautiful: not only the photographs, but the recipe as well. Nice work.

December 7, 2009 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Sophie said...

What an appetizing plate of fine combined foods: yum!

December 8, 2009 at 12:03 AM  
Blogger Jamie Cooks It Up! said...

What a beautiful picture! I could take some lessons. Mine are always so dark. It looks like I cook everything at midnight by candlelight!
Found you on sits!

December 9, 2009 at 5:04 AM  
Blogger Deliciously Organic said...

Thanks Jamie. I have been practicing and practicing! I got a ton of great tips from this blog post: Hope that helps!

December 9, 2009 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Carli said...

Wow, I'd never heard this about nuts. Thanks for the info. Can't wait to try the soaking method!

December 10, 2009 at 4:23 PM  
Anonymous troynvic said...

I feel like I have so much to learn, having just now caught onto your blog!
This info about nuts was new to us...we just took our first batch out of the oven and WOW, they are delcious indeed. Thanks Carrie!!

February 25, 2010 at 9:53 AM  

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