Apr 29, 2014

Garlic Wasabi Almonds

I am hungry ALL. THE. TIME.  Not painfully hungry, just the sort of hungry that makes you grumpy and tired.  The "I need a pick me up" kind of hungry.  At first I tried snacking on things like fruit, cheese, yogurt, crackers, hummus, carrot sticks, and the occasional homemade baked good.  I'm trying to keep it healthy- I ate TERRIBLY in the first trimester, when I ate anything at all.  It kind of works, but I get tired of specific foods easily when I eat them repeatedly.  Then nothing sounds good, so I can't decide what to eat, so I put off snacking until I AM painfully hungry, and then it's a terrible downward spiral from there.

A lot of the classic prepackaged snacks (which are unhealthy anyway) do not sound appealing to me right now, because that's mostly all I ate when I was nauseated (chips, oreos, granola bars, etc...)  I went by Trader Joe's because their snacks have always looked appealing to me, but I ended up walking out with 3 different boxes of cookies and NOTHING with any nutritional value at all.  They had some flavored almonds that looked pretty good, but they were $5.99 for a 14oz bag, which seemed awfully expensive to me.  I decided that instead I would buy raw almonds from the bulk foods section at a cheaper grocery store, and I would make them myself!  (Of course when I got there they were $6.38 a pound, which is barely a better deal.  Maybe I should try Costco next time?)

I wasn't sure where to start, so I googled 'flavored almond recipe' and landed on this one.  I liked the sound of it, but I wanted to go for a garlic wasabi flavor, too.  Since I didn't want to make too much of anything until I knew I was going to like it, I decided to go ahead and toast 2 cups of almonds and mix up half of them with the seasonings in the recipe above (measurements cut in half, of course), and mix up the other half with my own seasonings.

Sorry for the terrible lighting/weird coloring in the pictures.  There's almost no natural light in my kitchen at any time of day, and I haven't figured out how to compensate for that yet.  (I just crank the exposure way up in photoshop so you can see anything at all.)

So I toasted 2 cups of almonds in a dry pan.  Over medium high heat it took me about 5 to 7 minutes to get the delicious toasted almond aroma.  Then I set them aside.

In a small bowl I mixed 1tsp olive oil, 1 tsp wasabi powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp mustard powder and 1/4 tsp garlic powder.  I added the mix to the pan and set the heat at medium, then I added back 1 cup of almonds.

I stirred them around until they were evenly coated in flavoring and starting to turn a darker brown color- it smelled amazing.  I simply rinsed the pan between flavors- no need to scrub it clean.

I set them out to cool for a while before I put them in jars.  They still looked a little wet, but despite being sealed up in jars all night they were perfectly dry and dusted with seasonings the next day.

I tasted them last night (loved 'em) and ate some more today, and somehow they tasted less salty today.  Maybe I'll add more salt next time, but I like things pretty salty, so if you make them at home you should probably stick with half a teaspoon until you've tasted them.  Also, I taste way more garlic than wasabi, and I was kind of hoping for it to be the other way around.  Next time I think I'll just do a pinch of garlic and see how that tastes.  I'll probably toy around with the flavored almond recipes for a while, so if I come up with anything out of this world I promise to share.

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