I had the pleasure of taste-testing four fabulous flavors of nuts this past week with my family - all from Sante Nuts. The beauty of it was, I think we all had our own personal favorites!
My father's hands down favorite was the Candied Walnuts. My mother loved the Candied Pecans, I was a huge fan of the Garlic Almonds and Robyn, well she favored the Roasted Salted Pecans. All of the nuts were very crunchy and fresh tasting! None of them were greasy or oily tasting.
Three of the four flavors were quite subtle and I loved that the candied flavor wasn't overwhelming. With the Garlic Almonds though, the garlic definitely announced it's presence with authority (okay all, what movie is that line from?). The garlic flavor intensified with each nut I ate - I really loved this about the almonds, but it kind of turned Robyn and my parents off a bit.... but I'm a huge garlic fan - and I think you'd have to be to eat a handful of the Garlic Almonds.
The Candied Walnuts were the most subtle - and the candy flavor was light enough not to completely mask the classic bitterness of the walnuts.
The Candied Pecans were definitely sweeter and lighter than the walnuts and my mom, who is a sweets person was a huge fan of these nuts - she liked that they were less subtle than the walnuts were.
The Roasted Salted Pecans weren't too salty, but the salt helped counteract the nuts natural sweetness, making this a perfect snack for those who want something savory rather than sweet.
I don't often cook with nuts because Wayne is allergic to them, but I can mix it up and add them at the end of a recipe for the rest of us, after taking out his portion.
When I went searching for a recipe to use some of the Candied Walnuts, this one struck me as being perfect, with or without the nuts:
Walnut Rice Salad (Adapted from Allrecipes.com)
5 cups cooked rice - I used basmati
1 1/2 cups chopped candied walnuts - I mixed these in at the end, after reserving Wayne's portion
1 large tart apple, chopped - I used a MacIntosh
1 cup chopped green onion
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon mayonnaise, yogurt or sour cream -I used yogurt since my dad is allergic to eggs
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt - I used less (probably about 1/3 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon curry powder - I was more generous with this
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (I add pepper to everything)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Combine the first six ingredients (or 5 if adding nuts later). Combine the juice, honey, mayonnaise, garlic, salt and curry powder; gradually whisk in the oil. Just before serving, drizzle over rice salad.
A little more about Sante Nuts:
It all started in the kitchen. Sara has always loved to cook. She learned a secret roasting technique from her grandmother, who roasted nuts in her tiny kitchen as a special treat. Sara continued the tradition, hand roasting nuts for her family. She felt good about giving them a healthy snack, and the kids were crazy about them. Six years ago, Sara became a single mom and realized that to make ends meet, her stay at home status had to change. Her son suggested: "Mom, you should sell those nuts you make for us!"
And those nuts have less oil, which means less fat and more crunch. They also use all natural quality ingredients. The nuts themselves are of the highest quality and are still hand roasted in small batches using Sara's grandmother's secret technique.
If you want to test these fabulous nuts out for yourself, SanteNuts.com has agreed to offer Acting Balanced readers a 25% discount on their orders until December 16th, 2011 - Just enter 2011-Blog-139 during check out.
And please consider sharing your favorite recipes with others on this month's linky: