Apparently mixed nuts are a boring party staple to some, but if I saw Gina walk through the door with a batch, I’d assume they’re anything but. That’s because Gina’s healthful recipes, ranging from homey to eclectic, are anything but. Shaved Brussels Sprouts Fruit Salad, anyone? Or how about Roasted Tomato Cashew “Hummus”, a winner for the paleo crowd, and really, anyone else with good taste. And if pre (or post) workout sweets are your treat of choice, she’s got you covered with her Almond Cherry Protein Cookies. Need I say more? Oh yes, her gorgeous photography and easy going sense of humor are worth tuning in for too

For more of Gina’s recipes, visit Running to the Kitchen, “Like” her page on Facebook, and follow @runtothekitchen on Twitter.

Have you ever been to a cocktail party without some kind of nut mixture hanging out amongst the spread?

I didn’t think so.

I’d say it’s a pretty boring standard, easy, go to for most party hosts.

But I’m betting you’ve never seen a rosemary spiced maple cider nut mixture at a party. Mostly, because I just happened to throw a bunch of random ingredients that all sounded good on these nuts, crossed my fingers and hope for the best as they roasted away.

But before you think I’m throwing some untested weird ingredient list nut mix at you, these made their way onto our Thanksgiving Day spread on Thursday and were a complete hit. They seemed to be the perfect “I’m hungry but don’t want to gorge myself full of appetizers before complete turkey domination” snack. And while they might look a bit burnt, I assure you that’s not due to me neglecting them in the oven, but rather the awesome maple syrup & apple cider caramelizing itself all over each and every nut.

So every handful tastes equally delicious in a warm, sweet and slightly spicy way.

Next party you host, go ahead, be the boring one with the nuts. I’m betting you’ll get a few compliments.

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Rosemary Spiced Maple Cider Nuts

Yield: 4 cups

Ingredients:

4 cups mixed nuts (I used a cashew, almond, walnut, brazil, pecan & hazelnut mixture)
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons apple cider
3/4 teaspoon hot chili powder
1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary, plus more for tossing after they roast
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for tossing after they roast

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Combine nuts and all other ingredients in a large bowl and toss until fully coated & combined.

Roast for 15-20 minutes, tossing occasionally. Watch carefully for the last 5 minutes to avoid burning.

Remove from oven once they're roasted & have turned a caramel color.

Toss with extra rosemary and salt.

Let cool on the pan for about 10-15 minutes before serving.