Maui Girl Cooks

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” Luciano Pavarotti

A Nutty Anytime Snack

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Before I get to the recipe, I’d like to tell you about a free event tomorrow at the Historic Iao Theatre in Wailuku, Maui.  If you enjoy theatre, you may want to show up tomorrow {4/14/14} at the Iao for their free ONO {One Night Only} of Cactus Flower.  These shows are always good, and the seats fill up quickly, so get there early.  They have coffee, bottled water and cookies for a donation, but we may be taking a bag of one of our favorite snacks.

This is one of our favorite snacks.  It is ridiculously simple, but when a quick and healthy snack, or dessert is in order, give this a try.  It is as easy as tossing some of your favorite nuts & dried fruit into a bowl.  But don’t stop there, because you haven’t added the 2 ingredients that boost up the flavor & make good nuts & dried fruit even better.  Hopefully you are asking yourself, “What are those ingredients?”  If you aren’t, you should, because you will want to make this.  What are the ingredients?  Chocolate {!!!} and salt.  That’s it, chocolate and salt.  You may know and love how great chocolate tastes with nuts, and maybe you’ve had it with dried fruit.  You know that salt is a fabulous flavor enhancer if you have ever eaten low sodium or no-salt added anything.  Salt is like cream-it doesn’t take much to take a dish over the top.  So, here is the formula of sorts.

nuts, fruits and chocolate

A Nutty Anytime Snack or Dessert

Nuts, a variety of raw & unsalted
Dried fruit
Chocolate, whatever you like
Good salt {not iodized salt please}

Put some nuts in a bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds, just to warm them and start to release their oils, so the salt will better adhere to them.  Add some dried fruit and a bit of salt.   Toss the nuts and dried fruit to distribute the salt.  When the mixture has cooled, add some pieces of whatever chocolate you like.  Toss again and eat.

Tips:
*The nuts:  You could use only 1 type of nut, but a variety is more fun and more nutritious.  We like walnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts & pecans.
*The dried fruit:  Use less dried fruit than nuts.  Just a few pieces add a little punch of sweetness to balance the savory flavor of the nuts.  We like apricots, tart cherries and pineapple.  We dry our own pineapple, so it isn’t the sugar-coated stuff you buy at the store.
*The chocolate:  Of course, you can add as much chocolate as you like, and you might be tempted to add a lot.  You do not need much to make a difference.  We break up 1 square from a bar of Lindt dark chocolate  {Have you tried Lindt dark chocolate???  It’s smooth, creamy and delicious.}.  One square broken up into little pieces mingles with the nuts and fruits and adds another nice bit of subtle sweetness to the whole melange.
*The salt:  Please do not use iodized salt.  It will not be an improvement, nor will it leave a favorable impression on whomever is eating it.  We use sea salt from our salt grinder, but also delicious would be Maldon salt or Fleur de Sel. . .just a couple of grinds or sprinkles will do.  Give it a taste and add more if needed.  The salt is the piece de resistance.  It’s the French fries and milkshake thing. . .salty, sweet crazy deliciousness.
*As a dessert:  This is great with a nice glass of red wine!

Bon appétit!

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