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Sweet and Savory Roasted Nuts

PCF’s Home Run Challenge kicks off May 20th. What are you bringing to the game day BBQ?

Whether you’re a diehard baseball fan, or you’re just there to enjoy good food and company, ensure there’s a healthier option alongside the deviled eggs and chili dogs. These roasted nuts are packed with healthy fats, fiber, and protein…..and, most of all, flavor. You can customize the nuts themselves and the seasonings to suit your taste.

As for the health effects specific to nuts, PCF-funded investigator Dr. June Chan of UCSF notes that, “There’s not much evidence one way or another with prostate cancer death, but they really seem to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and overall mortality. In one of our studies, we observed that substituting 10 percent of calories from carbohydrates for calories from healthy, plant-based fat (including nuts) was associated with a 29-percent lower risk of prostate cancer death, and a 26-percent lower risk of all-cause death.”

A few final words: If you or your guests have particular nut allergies, feel free to swap out different types of nuts as needed. Nuts are high in calories, so enjoy in moderation as a snack. If you sit near the bowl and munch absent-mindedly, it’s easy to consume more than you might have intended. Fill your party plate with a variety of foods like cut raw veggies, a dab of hummus for dipping, bean salad, or cabbage salad for a healthy take on coleslaw.

Sweet & Savory Roasted Nuts

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: 5½ cups


  • 2 cups whole almonds
  • 2 cups pecan or walnut halves
  • 1 ½ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 Tbsp finely snipped or chopped fresh rosemary (from 4 big sprigs), optional
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (reduce or omit if sensitive to spice)


  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Pour the almonds, pecans and pepitas onto the pan and set it aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and gently whisk until blended.
  3. Pour the mixture over the nuts on the prepared baking sheet. Stir well, until all of the nuts are lightly coated. Spread in a single layer across the pan (the maple syrup will pool on the bottom of the pan, but that’s okay).
  4. Bake, stirring after the first 10 minutes and then every 5 minutes thereafter, until almost no maple syrup remains on the parchment paper and the nuts are deeply golden, 23 to 26 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven, stir the nuts, then spread into an even layer across the pan. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then, while the nuts are still warm, carefully separate any large clumps if needed.
  6. Let cool completely on the pan. Store for up to 2 months in a sealed bag at room temperature.

Adapted from Cookie & Kate.