Sweet and Spicy Nuts

Although the uninitiated might be turned off by chili peppers' heat, which comes from capsaicin, health nuts, athletes and those wishing to drop weight would be well served to increase their tolerance for chili peppers gradually. The more you eat chili peppers, the more desensitized you can become to their tongue-searing heat. In fact, the hotter the pepper, the higher the amount of capsaicin and the higher the antioxidant level in the pepper. Hot peppers can also become addictive, as they release endorphins.

The capsaicin in peppers has been shown to slightly curb appetite—at least briefly. Peppers contain vitamins A, C, B6, beta-carotene and lycopene. 

More: The Health Benefits of Spices

Use any dried peppers, and nuts, you'd like in this toasted mixed nuts recipe. 

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. cashews, unsalted
  • 10 oz. almonds, unsalted
  • 10 oz. peanuts, unsalted
  • 8 oz. pistachios, shelled
  • 4 dried cayenne peppers
  • 2 dried guajillo peppers
  • 1 teaspoon dried smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil

Place nuts in a large bowl; toss to combine.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place dried cayenne and guajillo peppers on a baking tray. Toast in oven until fragrant, about four minutes. Remove from oven and cool. When cool enough to handle, grind peppers in a spice grinder until peppers form a powder.

Sprinkle mixed nuts with ground peppers, paprika, chili powder, cumin, rosemary, salt, honey and oil. Mix well to combine. 

Divide nuts between two baking sheets, so they are spread evenly into one layer per sheet. Roast in oven for 25 minutes, rotating pans between shelves and stirring nuts. 

More: The Importance of Nuts and Seeds in an Athlete's Diet

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About the Author

Sabrina Tillman Grotewold

Sabrina Tillman Grotewold is the former running editor for Active.com, and the creator of the Active Cookbook. She runs nearly every day, enjoys cooking and developing recipes, and taking her son for long walks in his stroller.

Sabrina Tillman Grotewold is the former running editor for Active.com, and the creator of the Active Cookbook. She runs nearly every day, enjoys cooking and developing recipes, and taking her son for long walks in his stroller.

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