Ah , Nuts!

So lately I’ve had these sweet cravings, I blame the ridiculous cold weather and the fact that I am trying to abstain from most sugars. For instance, Friday morning it was 4 degrees when I drove to work! I realized today I really miss being outside. Outside is good for a lot of things; the soul, your skin, your lungs, your mind. There is literally only so much cooking, cleaning, organizing and pittering around I can do before I just want to go lay in the yard in the sun.

So! This week I have two things to share with you. The first are these lovely snackie nuts I created earlier this week, and I just made my second batch for munching purposes this week so I knew I needed to pass on this simple recipe to you so you can have a quick and mostly healthy go-to for when you need a quick sweet fix. I really wanted to make more of the Paleo Protein Cookies that I shared in this post, but I thought “I really shouldn’t be getting into the habit of making these every weekend and eating them all within 3 days”.

You can easily make these nuts paleo, I didn’t because I didn’t really care, but you can sub out the tablespoon of brown sugar for honey or maple syrup or alternative sweetener of your choosing, and sub out the tablespoon of butter for ghee (I just didn’t have any). I don’t mind using sugar sometimes because it’s not going to kill me. Sucrose is a naturally occurring thing found in food plants, and for me personally, I’ve found that I much prefer the effect it has on my body in small quantities than alternative no-calorie sweeteners. I abandoned consumption of alternative sweeteners about 3 years ago and have seen dramatic improvements in certain things like metabolism, disappearance of migraine headaches, and improved cognitive function (but this is a soapbox for another time).

Below are my Candied Pecans. By no means did I reinvent the wheel, in fact I bet if I googled Candied Pecans I’d probably end up with fairly identical recipes. But, I did create these in my kitchen here is what I did:

2 cups of halved pecans

1 tablespoon of butter (or ghee)

1 tablespoon of light brown sugar (or other sweetener)

1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of vanilla

pinch of salt

Take a skillet and melt your butter over medium heat. Throw the pecans into the butter bath along with your salt,cinnamon and vanilla and stir to coat and allow to roast for about 5 minutes, enjoying the smells that waft up during this process. After the color starts to turn, then add your sugar. I wait for the nuts to roast a bit before this step, otherwise the sugar cooks quickly and could burn.

Roasting Away!
Roasting Away!

Stir around often, and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes after the sugar has been added. Once sufficiently roasted, remove from heat onto a plate and let cool about 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container and snack to your delight throughout the next week.

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Seriously, these taste like little crunchy fun size pecan pie bites or something. Very delicious, and a much better alternative than candy or processed junk. I get that nuts are super high in fat, but I’ve discovered that in order to build muscle and feed your body, fat intake is extremely important. Since starting Crossfit last June, I’ve lost 25 pounds of fat, gained 5-10 pounds of muscle, and eaten pretty much uncontrolled amounts of fat and protein (my body saying “I’m full” has been the control). It’s been a heavenly experience.

Make these and let me know how you like them!

So earlier I mentioned I had two things to share; the second are these wonderfully filling and protein packed salmon cakes that I took from Well Fed 2. Now, I’ll be cool and give you a grainy picture of the recipe, but, please go and purchase this book if you want more amazing recipes like it! I promise you wont regret it.

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I paired them with some Garlic Green Beans and some Pinot Noir and we chowed down. I also tried to make some Tartar Sauce from the book but I didn’t quite have everything I needed for it, and it separated into a goopy sauce, so I didn’t include it in the picture. The taste was great drizzled onto the salmon cakes, and really enhanced the flavor, it just wasn’t very pretty. And these salmon cakes have 12 grams of protein each! If you are trying to eat to perform, this is a great meal for you! They were even great left over. I ate one when I came home from the bar last night (Hooray Crossfit Friends Outing!) and then I ate 3 this morning with two boiled eggs. Yum.

My love and I last night!
My love and I last night!

Today at 3 I’m headed to Crossfit Huntville to work out, and this is what is waiting for me:

“Barbara”

5 rounds, each for time of:

20 pull-ups

30 push-ups

40 sit-ups

50 squats

rest exactly 3 minutes between each round

Score = final time minus 12 minutes

 

Lordy. I shouldn’t be surprised, the first Open workout releases in a month, and I’m registered, so I need waves of Barbara and Cindy and Annie and whatever else comes out of the hopper at CFHSV to help me be the most ready version of myself.

Now, I’m off to make another batch of Chili as seen in a previous post. Happy Sabbath, y’all!

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