So, autumn is officially here, and party and holiday season is fast approaching.  Family gatherings, pot-luck parties, gift exchanges, and cozy nights snuggled up with the dog and your Netflix queue… this recipe is perfect for them all!  Packed full of healthy nuts, tart cranberries, spicy-sweetness, this isn’t your tired, old Chex mix.  It’s even good for paleo diets and gluten sensitivities.  Plus, since you whipped it up in your own kitchen in about 5 minutes (not counting baking time), you know it’s free of chemicals and preservatives.  By adjusting the spiciness to your taste and using your favorite nuts, this tasty snack is customizable to you and your family and friends… that is if you can bring yourself to share!

Here’s what you’ll need:

4-5 c. of your favorite raw nuts.  I used equal parts almonds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), cashews, English walnuts, and pecans.

1 equal part dried cranberries

1 large egg white

¼ c. sugar

1 t. salt

¼ t. ground cayenne

½ t. smoked paprika or ground chipotle (the chipotle is considerably spicier than the paprika, so depending on your taste, you might omit the cayenne)

½ t. ground cumin

½ t. dried oregano, rubbed between your palms to make it almost a powder

½ t. chili powder

Start by preheating the oven to 325 and lining a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Next, in a small bowl, thoroughly mix the sugar, salt, and spices and set aside.

Whisk the egg white in a large bowl until frothy, about one minute.  Add the nuts and cranberries and toss to coat completely.  To make it even easier on yourself, whisk the egg in a bowl with a lid, add the mix and just shake it vigorously to coat.

Sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture over the nuts and toss (or shake) again to make sure everything’s nice and coated.

Pour it all out onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer.  Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through.  After 20 minutes, stir once more, turn off the oven, and return the pan for 15 more minutes.  After you let the pan sit in the turned-off oven, take it out and let cool completely on the counter.

Store it in an airtight container for as long as it lasts (or a couple weeks).  You can also make larger batches and freeze it in plastic freezer bags to have as a quick, go-to snack.

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