I have been inspired by our Gluten Free Healthy Surprise Giveaway, and so this month I am sharing some quick easy gluten free vegan snack recipes. These maple cinnamon almonds are absolutely scrumptious! Raw almonds are my favorite snack food, and if I want to make them more decadent, I cover them in different sweeteners and flavorings and dehydrate them. I made a few different kinds of sugar almonds last Christmas, and they were a huge hit. I have labelled this recipe as "raw" because the almonds are raw and dehydrated. However, strictly speaking, they are not completely raw because the maple sugar has been made from boiled maple syrup. But, there are raw foodists who eat maple syrup. So I thought I would include it in the raw category.
If you don't have a dehydrator, are not a raw foodist, and want to make these almonds, you can dehydrate them on the very lowest setting of your oven for about 8-12 hours. I say that because the "cooking" time varies depending on whether or not you soak you almonds. I always soak all of my nuts, grains and seeds in order to remove the anti-nutrients and enzyme inhibitors and make them more digestible. You can read more about this on my Why Soak Grains, Nuts and Seeds page. But, you don't have to soak your almonds to make this recipe. You can just rinse them, as you will want the almonds to be wet in order to have the maple sugar stick to them.
If you have never used maple sugar before, you are in for a treat. If you boil maple syrup until it thickens, and let it cool, it crystalizes to form granulated maple sugar, which is a fantastic decadent sweetener. It is sold in blocks or as granulated sugar. It is rather expensive so I don't use it all that often. Just for special occasions when I want a real treat. You can get maple sugar at most health food stores. I like this maple sugar, which has gorgeous flavor and texture. You can use 1/2 – 3/4 cup of maple sugar for every cup of refined sugar in baked recipes. But I mainly use maple sugar as an accent sweetener or topping on gluten free cakes, pancakes, muffins, cookies and cereals. It can be a bit overpowering in large quantities.
But it is magic mixed with cinnamon for these almond treats. Trust me, give these a go and you will not be sorry. They are delicious!