Sweet and Salty Game Day Snack


You start to understand the magic of Chinese 5-spice when a houseful of kids who smell these almonds roasting ask for the cookies when they’re out of the oven. Its fragrance is pungent and sweet and resonating, making you wonder why we don’t eat more of it. Here’s the recipe if you want to make it at home. I just imagined a spoonful of the powder combined with warmed milk and a steeping bag of black tea and came across this. Let me know if you try it.

I like to make a batch of these when the weather cools. A heaping bowl on the kitchen counter doesn’t last the day when everyone is home. Why not make them for game – board, card, or NBA playoffs – days, car travel, or a Halloween potluck dish to feel better about the handfuls of bite-sized candy bars soon to be eaten? Adapted from Salad Samurai, a cookbook worth a read for anyone in search of a vegan – or a good – salad.

5-Spice Tamari Almonds

Makes 1 1/2 cups


  • 1 1/2 cups raw whole almonds
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (date syrup or dark agave nectar works too)
  • 3 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder
  • coarse salt as needed


Preheat oven to 325°F. In 9″ X 13″ baking dish, combine almonds, maple syrup, tamari, and 5-spice powder. Stir until well-coated. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Place baking dish in oven and roast nuts for about 18 minutes, until glaze begins to thicken (will continue to thicken as nuts cool).

Remove from oven. Separate nuts while still warm or leave as gooey clumps to cool. Transfer nuts to bowl and enjoy!


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  • Reply Katie October 1, 2020 at 4:42 am

    That looks like a yummy recipe. What spices do you think are in the Chinese 5-spice?

    • Reply Kate Gales October 1, 2020 at 1:09 pm

      It’s made of star anise, cloves, (Chinese) cinnamon, fennel seeds, and peppercorns. Totally entrancing stuff.

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