Few snacks can match the crunch and nutritional value of a handful of roasted almonds. They’re good sources of protein, fiber and healthy unsaturated fats, as well as vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant, and magnesium. They’re low-carb and free of cholesterol, and because they help you feel full they’re a great snack for the calorie conscious.
However, I’m underwhelmed by the typical supermarket roasted almond. They’re way too salty--to the point where it hurts to eat more than a few!--and the oils used to roast them leave me with a bad aftertaste. They often include preservatives and flavorings and I pay a premium for all the nutrition-sapping processing that it takes to create them.
It took my partner bringing home a 3-lb bag of raw almonds from his parents’ house to nudge me into finding a solution. I find raw almonds boring, and my first thought when I saw that gigantic stockpile of blandness was dismay. How in the world were we going to get through that many almonds? I quickly pivoted, however, when I realized that this was my opportunity.
After a couple of tries I got it just right: home-roasted almonds! We burned right through that huge bag, and I’m using the last of them to share my process with you!
I prep my almonds with a little bit of olive oil--just enough to coat my almonds, and not a drop more! The almonds’ natural oil comes out in the roasting, and I find that a tiny amount of olive oil is all the necessary supplementation to make them perfect. You can also experiment with seasonings: my partner prefers his almonds with just a touch of salt, but we both love them completely unsalted too, which is great news for sodium-conscious foodies!
I roast my almonds in a cast-iron skillet, which I like because I can watch them and pull them from the heat at exactly the right moment. If you’re pressed for time and attention, I’ve achieved the same results by spreading prepped almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and popping them in a 350° oven, then frequently checking/tossing them until they’re done.
You’ll know your almonds are finished when they smell wonderful, they’re a uniform dark brown and a test almond (give it a chance to cool down!) crunches when you bite it. Allow the almonds to cool before storing them, and make sure to keep them in an airtight container. However, if your house is anything like mine, they won’t have a chance to go bad before they’re all gobbled up!
Healthy Roasted Almonds
These healthy, delicious almonds are great on their own or added to yogurt, salads and trail mix.
- 2 c raw, organic almonds
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 tsp salt (optional)
- Place almonds in a bowl and add olive oil in 1-tsp increments, stirring thoroughly after each addition. Only add enough olive oil to just barely coat the almonds, about 2 tsp. Once the almonds are coated, add in the salt and stir thoroughly.
- Transfer almonds to a pre-warmed cast iron skillet. Stir intermittently over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes, until almonds are dark brown and crunchy (be sure to fully cool test almonds before trying them!).
- Allow almonds to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.