Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts

I’m not ashamed to admit I like Doritos, Cheetos, and YES, even Fritos. I’d hazard a guess I’d love anything with tons of salt and “-tos” at the end. But when it comes to UNsalted snack food, what are the options?? Bearitos unsalted tortilla chips, which do meet the “-tos” requirement, but whose nakedness won’t lead to finger licking. There ARE the dazzling salt free flavored Terra Chips, but I can’t get my hands on them easily. Newman’s Own No Butter/No Salt 94% Fat Free Organic Popcorn, but you take out the salt and fat and it only takes me *so far*. When the rest of my family’s inhaling Doritos, it’s hard not to feel a little deprived. WELL, FRIENDS. no more. If you’re longing to add some PIZAZZ back into your unsalted snacking, get a load of today’s dish! Instead of the same old plain jane salt free nuts, you get THIS. (cue Hallelujah choir)

Crunchy, a little sweet, with a spicy kick from the cayenne, these are every bit as fantabulous as a bag of Doritos. So good, in fact, they could easily be called Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuttos.  But let’s leave them their dignity.  Recipe adapted from Food Network Kitchens Favorite Recipes.

Yields 2 cups or 8- 1/4 c. servings.

SODIUM CONTENT: 17 mg per 1/4 c. serving


1 large egg white
3 T. brown sugar
2 t. dried oregano
3/4 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. (heaping) ground cayenne pepper
pinch ground cloves
2 c. unsalted mixed nuts


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Get out a rimmed baking sheet and line with parchment or aluminum foil.

Whisk the egg white, brown sugar, oregano, ground coriander and cumin, cayenne pepper and cloves in a small mixing bowl, until well combined and a little foamy. Add the mixed nuts and toss until evenly coated.

Spread the nuts out in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Place the sheet on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, removing the pan and stirring the nuts every 15 minutes, then returning to the oven. At the end of the baking time, remove sheet from oven and set aside to cool. Nuts will crisp as they dry and cool, so let them cool fully before removing from the sheet. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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7 Responses to Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts

  1. The idea that we might possibly live in a world where one is expected to be ashamed of her love of Doritos horrifies me.

    These look delicious! And if I swap Truvia for the brown sugar, they’d even be great for my low-sugar lifestyle.

  2. Christy says:

    You. Go. Girl!! Great idea, and one others may care to try as well. PS: If you do make them w/ Truvia, pls report back and let us know how they TASTE. (Most important) XO

  3. Vira says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe – though I think I’ll skip the cloves and add just a bit more cayenne. YUM!

  4. Christy says:

    Hey Vira! You hardly taste the cloves, so you won’t miss them. (That said, if you really LOVE cloves, you might want to add a bit more. Not too much. That’s good.) As for the cayenne, I’m w/ you, bring it on! I followed the recipe above exactly and it was spicy (not too much for the kids) but if I were making it solely for ME! I’d put more in too. Hope you enjoy them. So easy & SO GOOD!

  5. wow, this actually seems like a decent alternative to some of those snacky things! i do love nuts myself. ant would probably dig this recipe but my spice rack seems a bit bare. 🙂 i’ll send him to you for some snack-a-ree-nos.

  6. Christy says:

    BUT.. (she says) AREN”T YOU AT THE STOP N SHOP??!! Thanks to Twitter (which I thought I hated but now am enjoying) I just saw you post from there — HAHAHAHH

    However, rather than stock up at said market.. (shameless plug) take a hint from yesterday’s post and swing by the internat’l store on your way home. That way you can leave Ant w/ spices galore to make these while you’re living it up at Disney!

  7. Angie says:

    These are the absolute best. I have become so tired of my savoury snacks. I long to have something that everyone else can have instead of being “special”. This is a low sodium snack that really doesn’t taste low sodium and is so yummy. Thankyou. I just can’t wait to try your other recipes. I’m so glad to have found your site. Thanks so much for sharing and caring.
    Angie (Australia)

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