Here’s the pregnant me coming out again: trying to eat healthy, but needing something a little different. Enter RANCH CASHEWS.
I always have a big container of Hidden Valley Ranch Powder in my cupboard. If you don’t, you may want to consider. It has magical foodie qualities that you may have never even thought of. Like, ever tried it in a white sauce for your pizza? Well, you should. And how about the next time you make those homemade creamy mashed potatoes? Um, yes. And homemade nacho cheese sauce? Why not? Seriously, it goes way beyond dressing and dip my friends.
Well, our little snack company, Graze, that I am seriously crushing on, has in their lineup a sour cream and chive cashew and a cheese cashew. Seriously? Yes, they lived up to their delicious expectations and I had to find a way to get more…..and fast!
Enter – open cupboard. Ranch powder sits triumphantly on shelf, just waiting for the newest snack experiment.
The first time I made the cashews however, I was a little disappointed. I found so many tips on the internet to make coated nuts, and they all said that I should just coat the cashews with a little oil, bake, and then toss them in the powder after baking. Well, by the time the nuts cooled off, most of the powder wasn’t sticking anymore. Still good, but a little bit of a bust.
After a little experimenting, I decided that no, the powder must go on before baking, and that a little sugar as sort of an “adhesive” might help. Much better results!
Of course after Ranch cashews, what was I do to next? The cheese. But where the heck was I supposed to buy powdered cheese? Of course, my husband, Ben, jumped to the rescue: popcorn toppings. We found that the grocery stores were actually severely limited to what flavors they actually stocked to what seemed to be produced by the companies, but we did find a Nacho Cheese and a White Cheddar powder, both by Kernel’s, and yep, they are pretty freakin’ good, too.
Here’s to more healthy and yummy snacking!
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1/2 teaspoon oil
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon Ranch powder I prefer Hidden Valley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Toss cashews in oil, just enough to lightly coat each nut.
Mix together sugar and ranch powder, and then toss nuts in the mixture.
Spread out on a baking sheet and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until starting to lightly brown, flipping once halfway through.
Cashews are a softer nut and can burn very quickly if not watched closely. I prefer to cook at 350 for a shorter time, but you may go down to 300 degrees and plan on cooking between 12-15 minutes at that temp.
I tried making these roasted nuts a variety of different ways and was having trouble keeping the coating on (once they cooled, it didn't stick). I found that adding a little sugar and putting the powder on BEFORE cooking (in contrast to many recipe) works best. The powder will brown a little.
Change it Up:
The sky's the limit on flavor! Some of my other favorites to date are: White Cheddar or Cheddar flavored (Kernel's brand). Archer Farms (Target's brand) also has some intriguing flavors, although I've been unable to find them on my local store shelves to date.
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