These savory and flavor-packed roasted almonds are soaked in a smoky maple marinade, and then baked to crispy perfection.
Vegetarians seem to have all kinds of varying feelings on the taste of meat. Some miss it like crazy and go after any meat substitute they can get their hands on, while others are repulsed by anything even resembling meat, plant based or not. As for me, well I suppose I'm somewhere between the middle and the not-missing-meat-at-all folks. I won't say I miss meat, but I don't necessarily mind meat substitutes. Some meat smells I don't mind, while others completely turn my stomach.Bacon would be one of those meats that I've never really understood at all. I find the look and smell completely gross. I waited tables in college, and the breakfast shift bacon vapors were agonizing.
So, does it make any sense then, that I created these almonds to have a taste resembling bacon? YES! See, what I came to realize about bacon and other meat substitutes is that I do enjoy them as vessels for the seasonings and nonanimal flavors of the meats they mimic. Bacon has some delicious stuff! It's smoky, salty, tangy! So why did I use almonds here instead of a more appropriate vegetarian protein that you'd normally find in meat a meat substitute? I wanted some crunchy little bacon bits for a recipe. Yeah, I know, most bacon bits are not actually meat, but they are also not actually good, and not actually wholesome. I'll share a recipe soon that incorporates my smoky-almond bits, but for now you can enjoy them as a snack, by the handful.
Smoky Roasted Almonds
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1 cup raw almonds
- salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350º. Mix maple syrup, soy sauce, vinegar and liquid smoke in small bowl. Add almonds and toss to coat.
Arrange almonds in a single layer on parchment paper lined baking sheet, discarding any excess liquid. Bake 15-18 minutes, watching closely and tossing every five minutes or so. Remove when almonds begin to darken. Sprinkle immediately with extra salt, to taste.
Allow to cool before eating, as they will crisp up while cooling.
Watch your nuts closely while they bake, as they burn fast!