As the cooling breeze of fall blows through, it’s time to spice things up. Not only do spices add a lovely kick of flavor to fall and winter fare, but spices are filled with phytonutrients; health-enhancing compounds that give us the immune boost we need through the transition to colder months. Adding a little sweet, a little heat and a bit of spice to nuts does a body good energetically this season as well. May this sweet & spicy nuts recipe warm you inside and out. I use these nuts to top warm wilted salads, on soups, or over warm fruit for a nutrient-dense treat.  It would also be delicious on top of my Vegan Maple Custard recipe.

This morning I did my seasonal overhaul of cooking ingredients – putting away the cooling flavors of summer and bringing spices and heating ingredients an easier reach from the stove. I went to the grocery to gather spices – cayenne, cinnamon, mace, allspice, nutmeg – the flavors of fall. It’s one way I honor the wheel of the year, ever turning.

Sweet & Spicy Nuts Recipe

Ingredients spiced-nuts-ingrednets

  • 2 cups raw nuts and/or seeds – I used pepitas (pumpkin seeds), almonds, cashews and a few Brazil nuts
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp grass-fed organic unsalted butter or ghee
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, ground
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt


In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and spices. Place nuts and butter in a skillet over moderate heat, stirring for about 2 minutes until butter is melted and covers the nuts. Add the spice mixture (beware those of you who know two heat settings – high or off – this can burn quickly – I know of what I speak!). Sauté on medium heat until the sugar caramelizes – 5-8 minutes. Transfer nuts to a plate or sheet of foil to cool. Store in an airtight container and use on salads, soups or cooked fruit (like a baked apple) for dessert.

This is, of course, a recipe you can adapt to include your favorite warming spices. Please share your variations, and enjoy the season!

Looking for more recipes?  Head over to my collection of Easy Healthy Recipes.