Meet my new snack addiction: Sriracha Sesame Cashews.
I don’t know why, but I found myself thinking about those little sesame coated cashews from Trader Joe’s a couple weeks ago. I have no idea why- I’ve never bought them, and have no idea what they taste like (are they sweet?). I knew I had to figure out how to make them. I love the combination of cashews and sesame. And cashews are such a good snack. My favorite for traveling.
I decided to go spicy and salty with these babies. I actually tried a honey-cinnamon-ginger variation as well, but I needed to add a bit more honey to make them sweet enough for the combo, and I found the more honey that’s added, the less crunchy they got. And the super crunch is what makes these so addictive.
I’ve been taking little baggies of these to work with me for a midmorning coffee snack, to replace the cookies (either breakfast cookies or chocolate covered raisin oatmeal cookies) that I’ve gotten too much in the habit of eating every day (they are healthy, but sugar is sugar, so every day is probably not the best choice!).
Last year, I got in the habit of buying bags of popcorn from the cafeteria. And while I think popcorn can he a healthy snack, I’m sure whatever oil it’s popped in is not the most heart healthy choice. When I make popcorn, my favorite method is to microwave “air pop” it (I’m not talking about in the greasy bags!).
The perfectly crunchy coating on these cashews has me wondering what other crunchy snacks I could make with egg white! I think I need to try a granola– one that uses egg whites instead of so much sugar and oil to coat it.
These are really great mixed with a bit of dried fruit- I’ve added a few raisins or cranberries in, and the sweet/spicy/salty combo is very good!
Snack on Sriracha Sesame Cashews
In case the two main reasons I love snacking on cashews- they are delicious, and super portable – aren’t enough for you, here’s a few other reasons to incorporate them into your weekly snacking schedule.
- The sriracha is a great metabolism booster! I try to incorporate hot sauce into a lot of my meals for this reason. The quantity in this recipe isn’t enough to make them very spicy, but you could add more if you like!
- Cashews are a great source of protein — 5 grams in 1 ounce (which is about 18 cashews, or about 14 of these sesame coated babies).
- Cashews are a great source of monounsaturated (the heart healthy kind) fat, but are also lower in fat (and calories) than other nuts. One ounce of cashews has 12 grams of fat, and 155 calories, compared to the 15 grams of fat and 170 calories in an ounce of peanuts or almonds.
- Ginger is anti inflammatory, and inflammation is the root cause of many illnesses and diseases.
- Sesame seeds are a great source of protein and fiber, but are also a surprisingly hefty source of dairy-free calcium.
- Eating fats from nuts and seeds lowers the risk of weight gain– because they pack such great nutrition, and are very satiating because of the high fat content. Just be mindful when snacking on nuts or nut butter. I use a measuring spoon at least once a week when scooping out my nut butters, and make sure I know how many nuts equals an ounce, to keep my portions in check. It’s easy to go overboard and not realize it!
- 2 cups cashews
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1½ teaspoon ginger powder
- 2 teaspoons sriracha hot sauce (gives them a very mild spicy -- not too hot for kids!)
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 270º f.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and honey until the mixture is well incorporated and frothy.
- Add the ginger powder, sriracha and sea salt to the egg white mixture.
- Pour over the cashews, coating well.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds over the cashews, and lay out on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 25 minutes. After 15 minutes, stir once to break up the clusters.
- Cool completely, and store in the fridge. These can also be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days.
What snacks have you been taking to work lately? What are your favorite snacks for traveling?
I’m flying to Australia in a month, and am trying to come up with some savory options. Bars and cookies get old really fast when you’re eating them as meals!
More Nutty Snack Options:
- Italian Rosemary Garlic Spiced Nuts, by Sumptious Spoonfuls (My fav holiday nut recipe has rosemary. So good!)
- BBQ Roasted Mixed Nuts, by The Kitchen is my Playground (<– so much healthier than my childhood favorite BBQ chips!)
- Cocoa Roasted Almonds, by Roamin’ Om (<– looks great. I can’t tolerate the stevia used in the Blue Diamond Cocoa Almonds)
- Salted Chocolate Coated Cashews, by Savory Simple (Uh, yes please! Chocolate is a health food, after all)