These caramelized almonds have the perfect balance of sweet and salty flavours. They’re spiced with cinnamon and cloves and have a satisfying crunchy texture. These nutritious candied almonds are gluten free, vegan, and make a great snack or post-dinner treat.
Main ingredients and substitutions
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It’s best to use raw, unsalted almonds in this recipe, but if the almonds you have are already roasted and/or salted, then you can simply omit the salt in this recipe and reduce the cooking time in step 2 (in the recipe card below) to 30 seconds.
I love using cinnamon and cloves in this recipe because that combination makes these spiced candied nuts taste like apple pie. You can substitute store bought apple pie spice or pumpkin spice instead of the cinnamon and cloves if you prefer. Allspice is another good alternative. Chinese five spice would be delicious as well.
I opted to use coconut oil as the fat in this recipe but you can substitute butter, vegan butter, olive oil, or any other oil you prefer.
I used maple syrup to give these almonds a sweet, crunchy coating. You can substitute honey instead of maple syrup (if you don’t need these to be strictly vegan).
How to make them
These almonds are quick and easy to prepare. Start by adding the coconut oil, almonds, salt, cinnamon, and cloves to a large nonstick pan set to low-medium heat on the stove.
Cook for five minutes to toast the almonds. Be sure to stir constantly to make sure they don’t burn.
Next you’ll add the maple syrup and continue to cook for five more minutes. Be sure to keep stirring constantly (sweet things like maple syrup can burn quickly).
Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the almonds to a parchment paper lined sheet pan or platter. Be sure to spread the almonds out in an even layer.
Allow the almonds to cool completely before enjoying. They’ll be a bit soggy when they’re still warm but once they’ve cooled completely they’ll have a crunchy texture.
For an even crunchier texture, store these almonds in the fridge for up to seven days.
These caramelized almonds make an excellent edible gift idea for Christmas or any other special occasion. Fill a mason jar with almonds and add a label or put them in a cellophane bag with a pretty ribbon.
If you love the combination of sweet, salty, and spicy, you can add a pinch or two of cayenne powder or freshly cracked black pepper.
More gluten free vegan recipes to try
This buckwheat banana bread is gluten free, vegan, easy to make, and so delicious. It’s freezer friendly and perfect for a make ahead breakfast or snack.
Or try dipping some fresh fruit in this dark chocolate hummus. It’s a nutritious way to satisfy a chocolate craving.
- 2 cups raw unsalted almonds
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or substitute your preferred oil)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or substitute honey)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Add the almonds, coconut oil, salt, cinnamon, and cloves to a large nonstick pan on the stove set to low-medium heat.
- Cook for 5 minutes to toast the almonds, stirring constantly to ensure they don’t burn.
- Add the maple syrup and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Transfer the almonds to a parchment paper lined baking tray or platter. Be sure they are spread out in a single layer.
- Allow the almonds to cool for at least one hour before serving, then store them in the fridge for up to 7 days.
- Storing these nuts in the fridge as opposed to the pantry gives them a particularly crunchy and satisfying texture.
I’m Jennifer, the author at A Sweet Alternative. I create simple, gluten free recipes made with nourishing, nutrient-rich ingredients.