I don’t know about you…but I eat a lot of raw almonds. Sometimes, I need something different – but no less healthy! So these simple za’atar spiced roasted almonds with medjool dates are just the thing for snacking.
What is Za’atar spice?
Now, before we go any further, I know you might not be too familiar with Za’atar, so let’s start there. Za’atar is an Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern spice blend that has as many variations as cooks who make it. Some blends keep it simple with just three ingredients and others are more elaborate. Typically, it’s made from the following spices:
The only spice you probably don’t have in your cupboard currently, it’s bright red and made from dried berries with a tart, lemony taste. Look for it online or in Middle Eastern markets. In Vancouver, you can actually find sumac (and pre-made za’atar!) at Superstore.
Health Benefits of Almonds
Almonds are one of my fave everyday plants foods because they have so much nutrition to offer…and they are super versatile. I snack on almonds, create plant-based ‘cheeses’ out of almonds and bake with almond meal.
A quarter cup of raw almonds contains:
- 7.5 g protein
- 4.5 g fibre
- about 10% of your daily calcium (97mg)
- there are also 97mg of magnesium to support your nervous system, and heart health
- Just over 1mg each of iron and zinc for energy and immunity
- small amounts of choline (important for plant-based diets) and folate
Almonds have great crunch and they are a wonderful way to wean yourself off of hyper-processed and starchy snacks.
This za’atar spiced roasted almonds would be awesome at your next party (double the batch!!) or just to keep on hand for an upgraded desk snack.
Za’atar Spiced Roasted Almonds with Medjool Dates
These addictively spiced almonds get just a hint of sweetness from dates. Easy to make, perfect for entertaining or everyday snacking, it’s a major upgrade on plain nuts.
Servings: 8 servings
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 12 Medjool dates pitted and sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- zest of one lemon or more if you wish
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons sumac
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt divided
Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit (175° Celsius). Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
In a medium bowl, toss almonds and dates with olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Spread on baking sheet and place in the oven for 10 minutes to gently toast almonds.
Wipe out bowl with a piece of paper towel.
Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes. Carefully place almonds into your bowl and toss with lemon zest, oregano, sumac, sesame seeds, thyme and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Taste and adjust salt or lemon zest as you wish.Transfer back to the baking sheet, scraping any spices that stick to the bowl over the nuts. Let fully cool and then transfer to an airtight container for up to two weeks.
If you don’t have sumac, you can substitute more lemon zest, perhaps from another whole lemon. Not an exact match, but same flavour profile!