by Tea Master DANIELA CUBELIC
Everything you love about tamari almonds, but even more irresistible. It’s a compelling combination of toasty, roasty notes along with a hint of smokiness, thanks to the addition of pine-smoked tea & toasted sesame oil.
Nuts & seeds are highly nutritious & a source of protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins & minerals that may lead to a longer life span—people who eat nuts regularly are likelier to live longer & have a lower risk of some types of cancers.
Nuts & seeds are a smart choice for snacking—not only can they keep hunger at bay, they may also have benefits for cardiovascular health, managing blood sugar & brain function. Have them between meals, when you’re on the go, take them along on hikes & walks, or enjoy them while watching a show.
You can use this recipe to make classic tamari almonds, but definitely try it with other nuts & seeds as well. It works wonders for any type of nut or seed you can imagine: peanuts, pistachios, pine nuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts, pumpkin & sunflower seeds & whatever other type of nuts you can think of. Vary the types & amounts of nuts, depending on whatever you happen to have handy, or depending on your preference.
In this recipe, you’re infusing Lapsang Souchong tea in tamari (a wheat-free soy sauce) to create a lightly smoky tamari. Feel free to double or triple up on ingredients when making this part of the recipe & setting aside the additional Smoky Tamari which can be stored in the fridge. You won’t regret it! Dip your sushi in it, use it to marinade tofu, drizzle it over stir fries or a simple bowl of steamed veggies & rice—the captivating hint of smoke will elevate anything you add it to.
Tamari nuts are not traditionally spicy, but if you like some heat, sprinkle smoked paprika, cayenne or chili flakes over the nuts.
TAMARI NUT MIX
dairy-free, gluten-free & vegan
makes 2 cupsINGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon Lapsang Souchong tea (pine-smoked tea)
¼ cup tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
2 cups raw, whole, unsalted nuts & seeds (almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts— whatever you have available or suits your fancy. Sunflower & pumpkin seeds also work well in this recipe.)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
optional: smoked paprika, cayenne, chili flakes
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Place tamari and dry loose Lapsang Souchong tea leaves in a small saucepan on stovetop. Heat on low, watching it closely as it can overheat. After 10 minutes, turn the heat off, but let the tea continue to infuse in the tamari for an additional 10 minutes. Then strain the tea leaves out, add the sesame oil & whisk lightly.
2. While tea is steeping, prepare a baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper. Spread the nuts out in one layer so they are all evenly exposed to the heat. When the oven has come to temperature, place tray in oven & bake for 10 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, shake the baking sheet or stir the nuts with a spoon so they bake evenly. While you’re doing that, you’re also checking to see how the roasting is coming along. You’ll want to continue roasting them in the oven for about another 5–10 minutes, but the duration of the baking can vary on the type of nuts you are roasting.
As a general rule, nuts which are softer & more tender including pistachios & pecans will be done faster—they will take another 5 to 8 minutes, bringing their total roasting time to 15 or 18 minutes. Harder nuts such as almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and macadamias take longer to toast—an additional 8–10 minutes, bringing their total roasting time to 18–20 minutes. Small nuts such as pine nuts, or seeds (pumpkin and sunflower) toast faster. They can be completely done in about 8 to 10 minutes.
Your oven temperature is also a factor—some ovens are much more reliable than others, whereas if your oven has a tendency to run too hot, or a bit too cool, it can shorten or lengthen the baking time.
The best way to gauge if the nuts are ready or not, is to smell the aroma when you’re standing close to the stove for the final section of baking. As they toast, they should smell fragrant and “toasty”, but not burnt or charred.
If you want to be really precise (& this works especially well when making a large batch of this recipe), you can roast each different type of nut & seed individually. This way you’ll be able to roast each particular type of nut or seed to perfection. That said, this recipe also tastes amazing when they aren’t “perfect” & some nuts are marginally over-roasted & a few are under-done. The tamari & tea seasoning makes it all taste so delicious, that you can be carefree & roast everything together, unless you’d prefer to do them individually.
3. Remove the nuts from the oven, but don’t turn the oven off yet. While they are still hot, pour the toasted nuts into a heatproof bowl. Quickly whisk the Lapsang Souchong infused tamari and sesame oil mixture once more & begin drizzling it over the nuts. Stir until the nuts are well-coated (they will give off steam & make sizzling sounds at first). Keep stirring until most of the moisture is absorbed. Return nuts to their baking tray & spread them out in an even layer. If adding spices, sprinkle them over the nuts at this stage.
4. Now, turn off the oven but put the tray of nuts back inside for 10–15 minutes to remove any remaining moisture. Leave the oven door ajar so that the nuts don’t get overheated. Check at 10 minutes & again at 15 minutes, stirring the nuts. If they still have some moisture, return to the oven. Continue this process until the nuts are totally dry. Remove nuts from the oven & allow them to cool completely.
Tamari Nut Mix can be stored in an airtight container for a week or more.