I survived my first week of culinary school and wanted to put into practice what I learned this weekend. We learned about knife skills, different types of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. The spice lesson was my favorite to learn about because I was not familiar with most of the ones my chef instructor was talking about. She talked about the origin, how to use them, and what foods go best with each. It was so fascinating and got me excited to experiment with some.
Chinese five spice was one of the ones that really brought my attention. It reminds me of a chai spice blend and if you know me, you know how much I love my chai tea lattes! It smells incredible- so warming with a little bit of spiciness. The almonds are roasted in this spice however if you can not find it- no worries- just use cinnamon. This combination is the perfect satisfaction for something sweet, crunchy, and tasty!
- 1 cup raw unsalted almonds
- 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice (cinnamon, ginger, anise, star anise, cloves)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 packet of pitted medjool dates
- Preheat oven to 250F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl combine almonds, five spice, salt, and oil.
- Using your hands or a spoon, mix well until almonds are covered with mixture.
- Place almonds onto the baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until a darker shade of brown (not burnt!)
- In the meantime, cut dates down the center making sure not to cut all the way through.
- Remove the seed (if not pitted) from the dates and stuff with 2-3 almonds.
- Feel free to stuff dates as you eat them. Not necessary to do all at once.
- You will probably have leftover almonds, they are just as good on their own!
- If you can not find Chinese five spice in your grocery store, you can make your own. There are different variations but all taste similar.