Easy stovetop sugar free candied almonds which use just three ingredients and with no sugar, sticky sweeteners or any additives! A simple one pan/skillet recipe perfect for the holidays, gift giving, or anytime snacking! It’s also completely paleo, vegan, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free!
I’d like to invite you over to my apartment, and we’ll be enjoying almonds.
Lots of almonds.
Lots and lots of almonds.
In the past month, I went through way too many batches of almonds, I should seriously have a plantation in my backyard.
It’s not that I had a recipe fail, or that I’m absolutely besotted by almonds.
It’s not that I was planning on fending off almonds to everyone for Christmas, nor was I planning on coating them in sugar and handing them out my friend’s Wedding.
It’s because of you, dear reader.
See, two years ago, I shared this delicious recipe for stovetop caramelized nuts. It’s been a pretty popular recipe, but also one which has received a flood of questions. The two main ones being if a different sweetener could be used (the original recipe uses a monk fruit stevia blend) or if it could be made in the oven.
Let’s discuss the overall recipe first before going down into details!
These sugar free candied almonds are perfect for the festive season, gift giving, or even for every day snacking- I mean, I do! It’s perfect sprinkled over cake batter oatmeal, crushed and mixed in these almond joy cups, or used in my favorite granola! It’s a simple three ingredient recipe (if you stick to the base ingredients!) and literally take minutes to whip up! They also make your kitchen smell incredible, and the hard part is waiting for them to cool and break apart! While I used natural almonds in this recipe, you can use any nut you like- I’ve made it with these whole walnuts, these unsalted cashews, and these Brazil nuts too!
If they are to be used as gifts or sent away (they travel well- I sent some to family friends overseas), they can stay fresh for at least 2 months, provided it’s in a sealed container. It’s best to make them the day before you plan to send them off, to maintain freshness! They are also suitable for those following a paleo, vegan, gluten free, sugar free, dairy free and grain free lifestyle!
So let’s talk the original VS the tested options!
The original version (pictured all above here) is the classic version I use, and the easiest. Instead of using white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup or other caloric sweeteners, we’ll be using a natural zero calorie offering- Monk fruit sweetener.
Long term readers (especially those who have made many of my recipes before) would be familiar with this granulated sweetener, but for those of you who aren’t, it’s essentially from the same family as stevia- A natural zero calorie sweetener. What I love about this monk fruit sweetener is unlike most stevia blends I’ve tried, it doesn’t taste like metal. Not only that, it resembles white table sugar pretty accurately.
Now for the second part of this….can it be made in the oven?
Yes and no.
Yes, it can still be made in the oven, however, you really need to watch it like a hawk- I found that leaving it too long without keeping an eye on it made it turn stringy and almost burnt in a short period of time. You’ll also want to remove it from the oven when they are ‘just’ done, and one extra step- Once cooled slightly, stir through an extra tablespoon or two of monk fruit sweetener for it to cluster beautifully.
However….if you aren’t following a vegan lifestyle, check out a secret hack below to achieve the sugary shells.
Now, the alternative sugar free option. I used a generic sucralose based zero calorie sweetener and the pictures below are the result-
As you can see, it doesn’t maintain any sugary crust and seems almost wet. Once allowed to cool completely, it hardened and caramelized really nicely (you can see some clusters throughout). I also found these WAY too sweet, but then again, I don’t really eat anything with sucralose in it, so it might just be my palate.
Can THIS be made in the oven?
Yes! It still won’t have the crusty, sugar exterior, but it will still be sticky and caramelized.
As mentioned earlier, if you don’t follow a vegan lifestyle and can tolerate eggs, you CAN achieve the sugary clusters in the oven version (using monk fruit sweetener). To do this, you’ll need to whisk the water with a single egg white and coat the almonds with it.
WHAM. BAM. THANK YOU, MA’AM.
Make these healthy stovetop sugar free candied almonds and seriously…
Come over for almonds.
Lots of almonds.
- 3 cups raw, unsalted almonds
- 1 cup granulated monk fruit sweetener (see notes above for alternative granulated sweeteners)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch sea salt
- Pinch cinnamon (optional)
- Heat a large frying pan or skillet pan on medium heat. When hot, add the monk fruit sweetener, water, vanilla extract, sea salt and optional cinnamon and mix until fully combined. Allow to heat up, stirring occasionally.
- When the monk fruit has completely melted, add the raw, unsalted almonds. Watch over the pan and continue stirring often until most of the monk fruit sweetener has been coated and beginning to crystallize.
- Remove pan from the heat and allow to sit for 1-2 minutes, before using a wooden spoon to stir almonds together to avoid immediate, overlarge clusters forming. Allow to cool completely before breaking up properly.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
- Follow directions as above then spread out almonds on a single layer. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once almonds have just begun to crystallize, remove and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes, before stirring once again to avoid immediate overlarge clusters forming. Allow to cool completely, before coating in an extra tablespoon or two of monk fruit sweetener.
- Nuts can be kept in a sealed container for at least 2 months. For even longer storage, freeze in an airtight container.
- For large clusters, allow to cool for 10 minutes, before breaking up
Take this chocolate cake oatmeal up a notch with some of these almonds on top!
Nothing beats a muffin-like mug cake with some candied almonds throughout!
Make some paleo granola cups with these chopped through!
These cookies are already loaded with almond flavor, and now? Even more so!
Take your cheesecake torte up a notch with these candied almonds!
Are you a fan of candied nuts?
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