Almonds with Toasted Orange Zest

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With allergies to peanuts, cashews and pistachios in our family, we eat a ton of almonds in this house. Good thing they are so delicious and versatile. I love baking with almond paste and almond extract, making granola with sliced almonds or topping a roasted vegetable with toasted slivered almonds. Yum! But sometimes I just like to roast my almonds until they get that juicy pop when you bite into them. Dressing them up with a little flavor makes them an exquisite snack or even gift for someone special. Here are some of my other almond recipes to be found here on One Happy Table:

Chocolate Almond Crescents

Almond Ice Cream Bon Bons

Oatmeal, Almond Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almond Butter and Dark Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Lavender Almonds

Chocolate Almond Ice Cream with Salted Caramel and Marshmallows

Sweet Pea Ravioli with Crispy Lemon Verbena and Almonds

Fruit Dippers with Raw Almond-Agave Butter

Almond Strawberry Pear Bread

Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

Coconut and Toasted Almond Jasmine Rice

Orange Squares (these have ground almonds in the crust!)

As you can see, I wasn’t lying about our love for almonds! This past weekend I made these roasted almonds with a citrus kick for an evening of entertaining friends. Everyone loved their light orange essence and my husband and kids ate a whole bowl of them before any of our guests even arrived. They are so simple to make but add a real wow factor to your table!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups raw almonds, skins on
  • one medium-large orange (I used a cara cara orange)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp orange extract
  • 1 tbsp sugar (coarse, if you have it)
  • 2 tsp sea salt (again, coarse if possible)

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Place your whole almonds onto a baking sheet in one single layer. Once the oven is preheated, roast the almonds for 12-15 minutes. They’re ready when they turn a nice golden color and you can hear them sizzling a bit. Be careful not to burn them!

Meanwhile, zest your orange into a bowl.

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Beautiful, fresh orange zest!

Heat a small pan on the stovetop at medium heat until the surface is hot. Place the orange zest onto the pan and spread it out into a single, even layer for toasting. Note that you are toasting it over dry heat (no oil). When it’s finished toasting, it should be mostly crunchy and look something like this.

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The orange zest, after toasting over dry heat

Once the almonds are finished roasting, place them into a large bowl (while they’re still hot) and toss them with the olive oil and orange extract. I used this Spicely brand of sugar-free orange extract, found at Whole Foods. Make sure the almonds are evenly coated.

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Next, add the sugar, salt and toasted orange zest and toss to coat. Pour into little serving bowls or ramekins and serve!

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almondsorangezest5Happy eating!

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