My weekend has been a whirlwind.
It started with epic levels of snow for North Carolina, icy roads, canceled flights, and LOTS of stress trying to figure out a way to make it to Florida for my college roommate's wedding.
It continued with a successful flight to Florida (yay!), SUNSHINE, wedding set-up, a liiiittle sunburn, watching one of my best friends walk down the aisle to her love, dancing my butt off in a fluffy pink dress, jumping into the pool in said fluffy pink dress, continuing to dance in pink pajamas, and then eating cold risotto in the kitchen at the end of the night.
Now I'm back to cold weather and lots of work.
On the bright side, I have found the most addicting healthy snack.
Sweet spicy crunchy cinnamon cocoa roasted almonds.
Combined with dark chocolate chips and dried cherries. (not pictured)
The almonds involve a simple combination of cocoa power, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and spices. They're slow roasted and stirred every few minutes to accomplish the satisfying crunchy texture.
The almonds are delicious on their own, but when they're combined with chocolate chips and dried cherries?
I'm one of those weird people who likes an even ratio of flavors/textures when snacking. My favorite bite has two almonds, one dark chocolate chip, and one dried cherry. Repeated as often as necessary.
I dare you to try these.
Cocoa Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of cayenne
sea salt, to taste
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaping tablespoon pure maple syrup
Optional (But highly encouraged) Add-ins:
semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 275. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper
In a medium bowl, combine almonds, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cayenne, sea salt, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Stir well to evenly coat almonds in mixture.
Spread onto cookie sheet. Mixture will be sticky, so you may need to use your hands to ensure almonds are evenly spread out.
Bake at 275 for 15-20 minutes, stirring almonds about 3 times through. (I set my timer for 6-7 minute increments to stir.)
Sprinkle with additional sea salt, and toss together with semi-sweet chocolate chips and dried cherries, if desired.
Adapted from Clean Eating Chelsey