Recipe: Smoked Paprika and Cayenne Roasted Almonds

by JJ Virgin on December 9, 2016

It’s party time, and these munchable spiced almonds are the perfect appetizer to start your holiday festivities! The kick of cayenne is just enough to add flavor without burning your mouth. Almonds are also a fantastic source of brain-boosting omega-3s.

You might notice this recipe calls for slow-roasted almonds. It takes some planning, but it’s worth it to roast your own. Slow roasting is the culinary equivalent of a “handle with care” label. Roasting slowly at low temperatures preserves the nutrients in nuts, plus makes them tastier and more digestible. You can always roast a double or triple batch to save time.

Smoked Paprika and Cayenne Roasted Almonds are the first recipe in our Holiday Party menu, to be joined by more tasty, healthy dishes perfect for your next shindig: Virgin Stuffed Mushrooms; Roasted Artichoke Dip; Herbed Salmon Cakes with Tartar Sauce; and Champagne Twist Cocktail.

Smoked Paprika and Cayenne Roasted Almonds


December 9, 2016

These smoky almonds with a zing of cayenne are perfect for a holiday party. They also double as a fantastic gift!

Virgin Diet compliant: Cycles 1, 2, and 3
Sugar Impact Diet compliant: Cycles 1, 2, and 3

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yields: 1-1/2 cups


1 1/2 cups slow-roasted almonds (see directions below)

1/2 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp monk fruit extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper


1To Slow-Roast Almonds: Place 1 cup raw almonds and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt in a medium bowl, and add enough water to cover by 3 inches. Soak overnight at room temperature, then drain the nuts. Spread them on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 140F for 8 hours.

2Preheat the oven to 200F.

3Combine the almonds and oil in a medium bowl and toss well.

4Combine the paprika, cumin, monk fruit extract, salt, and cayenne in a small bowl; add to the nuts and stir well to coat.

5Place the nuts in a single layer on a large baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

6Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Store in covered container in fridge.

This recipe is part of the Holiday Party menu, with the Champagne Twist Cocktail; Smoked Paprika and Cayenne Roasted Almonds; Virgin Stuffed Mushrooms; Roasted Artichoke Dip; and Herbed Salmon Cakes with Tartar Sauce. Check out the Holiday Party Menu and Guide for links to all the recipes, plus more handy tips and tricks for a fun, festive party.

Originally published in The Virgin Diet Cookbook, Grand Central Life & Style, 2014

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Nutrition Facts

Calories157 calories
Sodium146 milligrams
Protein5 grams
Sugar0 grams
Total Fat14 grams
Saturated Fat1 gram
Total Carbohydrates6 grams
Dietary Fiber3 grams

Don’t forget to check out our Holiday Party menu and guide, with great tips for an easy, entertaining celebration with all the fun and none of the stress.

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