These Healthy Candied Pecans are the perfect flavorful sweet treat. This recipe features flavorful and simple ingredients, is easy to make, and is 100% naturally sweetened and refined sugar-free!
It's no secret around here that I love using maple crystals as a cane sugar substitute (it's a perfect replacement for both white sugar and brown sugar).
After seeing how many of you guys loved my Bakery Style Gluten-Free Vanilla Muffins, Vegan Eggnog Cookies, and my Gluten-Free Vegan Pistachio Cookies, I knew it was time to add a recipe where maple crystals were the feature ingredient!
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- Healthy Candied Pecan Ingredients:
- How To Make Healthy Candied Pecans:
- Healthy Candied Pecans Substitutions:
- Candied Nut Variations:
- What You Will Need To Make Homemade Candied Pecans:
- How To Store These Healthy Maple Candied Pecans:
- Top Tip:
- Frequently Asked Questions:
- Related Pecan Recipes:
- Healthy Maple Candied Pecans
- Food Safety:
- Looking For More Recipes To Use Your Maple Crystals In?
Healthy Candied Pecan Ingredients:
These maple candied pecans are great because it only requires 5 simple ingredients, and it's such an easy recipe. One of my favorite things about this recipe is you can find all of the special ingredients at Wilderness Poets and you probably already have the other ingredients in your pantry!
- Raw Pecans - You must use raw and not roasted pecans if you want the perfect crunch. I always buy my nuts from Wilderness Poets because they have exceptional quality, are organic, and they're grown in the U.S. I try to purchase pantry staples in bulk because it reduces waste, and is more affordable, and Wilderness Poets makes that super easy! As always, my code: "NATURALVEGAN" gets you $10 off your purchase!
- Maple Crystals - Sometimes referred to as maple sugar is my favorite natural sweetener out there. The crystals come from crystalized maple tree sap. Since it is not refined, it retains all its vitamins and minerals. Not only is it packed full of antioxidants, Zinc, Manganese, Potassium, and Calcium, but it is also sweeter than cane sugar - a little goes a long way! It works as a 1: 1 substitute for white sugar, brown sugar, and even coconut sugar. If you're interested in trying maple crystals, you can use my code: "NATURALVEGAN" for $10 off!
- Vanilla Extract - I love adding a touch of vanilla extract to bring all the flavors together. I always recommend using Mexican vanilla extract. It has an amazing flavor and is a great addition to any dessert recipe.
- Cinnamon - Adding cinnamon is a great way to instantly elevate this candied pecan recipe. You can leave it out, but I definitely recommend adding it.
- Sea Salt - Adding salt is a great way to enhance the natural flavors.
- Water - This recipe is completely free of oils like coconut oil or olive oil thanks to the water working like a charm. This helps lower the calories of the nuts without sacrificing any of the crunch.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How To Make Healthy Candied Pecans:
This easy candied pecan recipe is one of my favorite healthy recipes to make as a sweet snack because everyone will love them and no one will know they're healthy, or vegan!
1. Begin by combining all the ingredients together in a nonstick pan. Then turn to high heat and mix.
2. Once the maple crystals have dissolved, turn to medium heat and continue to stir. You do not need to be stirring constantly, but regularly. You will begin to see the maple syrup coating turn into delicious candied pecans.
3. Continue to cook the candied pecans until they are completely dried and you have achieved the perfect crunchy texture. Serve and enjoy!
Hint: You may think that the candied pecans will not crystalize, but have patience. It will look watery 90% of the time, then it will crystalize quite quickly.
Healthy Candied Pecans Substitutions:
If you need to substitute a specific ingredient for this recipe, no worries! There are plenty of easy and simple substitutions that can be made.
- Nuts - This simple recipe can be used for any type of nut! I love making different candied nuts as last-minute gifts or as a healthy salad topper!
- Sugar - If you can't get a hold of maple crystals in time to make this recipe, do not use maple syrup. I tried maple syrup the first time, and it was a major fail. It turns into a hard thick syrup mixture and does not crystalize. I recommend using coconut sugar, brown sugar, or even a monk fruit sweetener (I have not tried this, but I assume the brown sugar substitutes would work perfectly. If you try it, let me know!)
Candied Nut Variations:
There are plenty of variations that can be made to this simple recipe. The most obvious variation is using other types of nuts.
- Spicy - If you plan to use these candied pecans as a salad topper, or in a savory recipe, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a little kick!
- Trail Mix - You can add these candied pecans to a medium bowl with some naturally sweetened chocolate chips, and pumpkin seeds for the perfect healthy sweet snack!
- Pumpkin Spice - You can replace the cinnamon 1:1 with pumpkin pie spice for the perfect fall-inspired treat!
What You Will Need To Make Homemade Candied Pecans:
These healthy candied pecans are the easiest candied pecans recipe because it only requires a few simple steps and equipment you probably already have in your kitchen!
- Non-Stick Pot - I really recommend using a non-stick pot for this recipe, because when the maple crystalizes, it sticks to everything. If you use other types of pots it will stick to the pot rather than the pecans. It can be done successfully with any pot, however for the sake of cleaning, please use non-stick!
- Parchment Paper - The nuts cool best on parchment paper and it helps prevent a giant mess.
How To Store These Healthy Maple Candied Pecans:
These healthy candied pecans are great because they can be stored in just about anything. I prefer to keep them in an airtight container, or a mason jar, but a plastic bag works too! I recommend storing them at room temperature. If stored in an airtight container, they will keep for about 1 month!
Do not add too much water. If you do, it should be okay, you will just have to cook the pecans longer.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Nuts are an extremely healthy food. They contain healthy fats, they're low carb, and they're filling. Therefore If you have a sweet tooth, these sweet pecans are a great way to include more nuts into your diet.
Although the wording may throw you off, they are actually the same thing. Therefore you should not be scared if you hear maple sugar because it is not a refined sweetener, it is a natural whole foods plant based sweetener!
Related Pecan Recipes:
Looking for other recipes you can add these healthy maple candied pecans to? Try these:
Healthy Maple Candied Pecans
- Begin by combining all the ingredients together in a nonstick pan. Turn to high heat and mix.
- Once the maple crystals have dissolved, turn to medium heat and continue to stir. You do not need to be stirring constantly, but regularly. You will begin to see the maple syrup coating turn into delicious candied pecans.
- Continue to cook the candied pecans until they are completely dried and you have achieved the perfect crunchy texture. Serve and enjoy!
Make sure to always be safe in the kitchen.
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Wash hands before handling food
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
Looking For More Recipes To Use Your Maple Crystals In?
Here are more recipes that use maple crystals!