We were eating some store-bought chili-lime nuts the other day and it occurred to us that it should be easy enough to make them at home. But how to get the spices to adhere to the nuts? Egg whites. Nature’s food glue. What sort of nuts to use? Any nuts you like. We used almonds, pecans and cashews for this batch.
As for the spices, we used chipotle powder for its smokey spiciness. You could easily use regular chili powder, cayenne, Chinese Five Spice, or Garam Masala. Just remember you’ll want something sweet, something spicy, salt, something zesty, and a touch of acidity.
- 4 cups mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, etc.)
- 3 teaspoons salt
- Grated zest of 2 limes
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons chipotle powder (can sub chili powder, cayenne, Chinese five spice, Garam Masala, etc.)
- 2 egg whites
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Preheat oven to 350°F.
2 "Muddle" the grated lime zest with the salt in a large bowl by mashing it around with the back of a wooden spoon. The salt and zest should intermingle into a paste. Add the brown sugar and chipotle powder and mix well.
3 Whisk in the egg whites. Add the nuts and mix to combine, until all of the nuts are well coated.
4 Place the nuts in a layer on a cookie sheet that has been lined with either parchment paper or Silpat. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove from oven, sprinkle lime juice over all the nuts and return to the oven for 2 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.