Need something easy and healthy to add to your holiday table or to take along to a party? These nuts have become a family favorite and I have not only served them at holiday parties, I had rave reviews a recent bridal shower. Studies have shown that eating nuts has a beneficial effect on the waistline. Pecans are particularly good for you because they contain more antioxidants than any other nut. Pecans contains vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and fiber, as well as antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances found in foods that protect against cell damage and, studies have shown, can help fight diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer.

Spiced Pecans
4 cups pecans
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg white, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the pecans on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast until they are fragrant, about 10 minutes. Let the pecans cool. Lower the oven temperature to 250°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the pecans with the maple syrup, butter, salt, cayenne and black pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Add the egg white to the pecans and toss well. Spread the pecans on the lined baking sheets in a single layer. Bake for 40 minutes, until the nuts are golden brown. Immediately loosen the pecans from the paper with a spatula. Let cool completely on the baking sheets before serving. Allow time for the nuts to cool. The nuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.