These paleo honey ginger spiced nuts are a perfect holiday treat, and much lower in sugar than most candied nuts recipes. The warm ginger spice makes these a wonderful Paleo snack for Thanksgiving or Christmas day!
Originally published March 2019. Updated Sept. 2021.
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Mixed nuts have always felt like a holiday treat to me. Growing up, I used to look forward to the big bowl of nuts, still in their shells, that we'd always have sitting out at Christmastime.
These days, I still love to keep nuts on hand for nibbling throughout the holidays. As a mom, I like it that they're a protein-packed alternative to the less-healthy holiday treats that can be tempting to graze on between meals.
While regular mixed nuts are great snack material at any time of the year, during the holidays, it just feels special to gussy them up a bit. My kids call them "fancy nuts" whenever we do something a little extra special with them. Toasted, spiced, candied...there are so many tasty ways to serve up a bowl of nuts.
There really are loads of delicious recipes out there for spiced nuts, and I've tried quite a few of them. But I've found that most recipes bother me for two reasons. First, they're SO very loaded in sugar that any nutrition from the nut seems negated. Might as well just give the kids a cookie!
The other thing I've noticed is that most methods end up with nuts that are either not toasted at all (which makes them end up a little squishy after a few hours, and doesn't bring out the wonderful flavors of the nuts) - or, more commonly, the nuts end up just plain scorched.
Most methods that call for either cooking the glaze-covered nuts in the oven, or cooking the sugar mixture and the nuts together in a pan, end up with nuts that are unavoidably scorched if one wants the candied mixture to harden properly.
I've been playing around with candied nuts for quite a few years, and the method I use in this recipe is the one way I've found to always get perfectly toasted nuts that are coated in a sweet, crunchy coating that's also perfectly cooked.
While it sounds a little more complicated, I actually find it much more straightforward, and far more fail-proof. These honey ginger spiced nuts are packed with fragrant, nutty flavor, and coated with a thin spicy-sweet crunch that's honestly downright addictive. Want to know if these nuts can be frozen? The answer is yes. I know because that's how I hid them from myself last time I made them!
This recipe is just lightly spicy, so they're easy on just about any palate. If you really love ginger, you may want to try increasing the amount of ground ginger when you make them. I hope you love these paleo spiced nuts as much as my family does!
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Paleo Honey Ginger Spiced Nuts
- baking sheet
- parchment paper
- medium sized sauce pan
- candy thermometer
- 3 cups mixed nuts
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Spread the nuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and toast in a 325° oven until nuts are fragrant and slightly darkened in color (about 20 minutes).
- In a medium saucepan, add all remaining ingredients. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches 250° on a candy thermometer. You can also do this without a candy thermometer (I usually do!). Just cook until the mixture darkens in color, bubbles get smaller, and consistency thickens. If you drop a bit of the mixture into cool water, it should form a firm ball. On my stove, this takes about 17 minutes from start to finish.
- Turn off the heat under the pan with the honey mixture, and add the toasted nuts. Stir until nuts are evenly coated. Spread glazed nuts back on the parchment-lined baking sheet to fully cool, separating nuts and spreading them out as much as possible.
- Allow nuts to fully cool. If necessary, break up any clumps that have stuck together. Nuts are best eaten within a day of being made, but can be stored in an air-tight container for up to a week.