I love the idea of giving homemade food gifts to friends and family at the holidays, but most of my old choices seem like ‘too much’ these days. Who really needs more cookies, fudge or homemade candy? Of course it is not nice to deprive people of these things entirely but I feel very confident that none of the people upon whom I usually bestow gifts will go without. Ideally the gift is nourishing and satisfying… special but not unhealthy.
I have made spicy roasted nuts in the past (Roasted Chili Lime Nuts), and these will be the gift for some folks, but I couldn’t shake the notion that I should make something on the sweet side. The solution was to try roasting pecans with balsamic vinegar and honey. The balsamic gave a little depth of flavor without having to use a lot of sugar.
I made some to put on the salad at Thanksgiving and ate all of the extra very quickly….. so I should probably plan on making theses babies very close to gift giving time so that I actually leave some for the giftee.
Bonus! They are also not hard to make. But don’t tell anyone!
2 cups pecans
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
Heat oven to 375
spread pecans out on baking sheet or pie plate
Toast the pecans for 5 min.
Take out pan and add balsamic vinegar. Stir around in the pan
Put back in the oven for 2 minutes
Remove and add honey. Stir around in pan
Put back in oven for 2 minutes
Remove and sprinkle salt. Stir
Put back in oven for 1 minute.
Place in containers and distribute quickly 😉
Ovens vary / pecans vary / pans vary. Generally 9 – 11 minutes is a good bake time to crisp up and increase flavor for pecans, so you may have to play just a little with the times in order to reach your desired effect. But as long as you are checking regularly, you can’t ruin these. And you can always add the salt right after taking them out the last time if you reach your desired done-ness early.
Your love, your time and slightly sweet health are lovely gifts, don’t you think?
For a gift of love and health that doesn’t require much time, may I suggest a copy of “Baby Steps to Better Health: A Guided Journey in Healthier Eating” a book that organizes, expands upon and continues the journey that Little Sis and I present in this blog.