traditions & a ‘cranberry spiced nuts recipe’

December 14, 2017

it shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone how much i love traditions. i get so much joy out of them. i’ve always loved christmas, but once i became a mom, the rituals we do this time of year became so much more important to me.

as a mom, i feel such an enormous responsibility to ensure tradition gets carried out each year. not only the old traditions that have been carried down by past generations, but creating new ones are just as important to me.

traditions are an important part of developing our family culture, and as a young family, we’re working hard at this every day. here are a few other reasons why traditions are so good for us:

1. memories. since i haven’t met anyone yet that knows how to create a special potion that can bottle up moments, we have to rely on our memory and photos for now. but seriously, we want our kids to look back on their childhood and be filled with warm fuzzies. as adults, there is no greater joy than to make those memories for our family.

2. something to look forward to. know matter what season we’re in, we always have fun activities that we love doing almost every month in the year. it keeps us looking forward to the future and remaining positive about life in general.

3. they’re fun!!! it wouldn’t be a tradition unless we enjoyed doing them. traditions force us to slow down during those busy times and to enjoy one another. some of my fondest childhood memories are when my family used to pack everyone into our small car on christmas eve, turn on the christmas music and drive around town looking at all the christmas lights. such a simple thing, but for a kid sooo much fun!

 last year i found an old christmas book called “christmas snowflake” by h.e. stewart that my grandparents gave to my sister and i for christmas in 1989. there was a recipe in the back of the book called “an old and treasured recipe for spiced nuts.’ we of course had to try the recipe last year and ended up dividing it into small mason jars to gift to our family at christmas, including my grandma. 🙂 i loved the story behind this recipe, and our family loves nuts, so i knew it would be a great recipe to turn into a regular christmas tradition.

this year, we adapted the recipe slightly to make it healthier. a lot has changed since 1989 😉 but the essence of the recipe remains true to itself. instead of butter and cream, i used coconut oil, and instead of white sugar, i used maple syrup and coconut sugar to sweeten. i also added Ocean Spray® Craisins® Dried Cranberries into the recipe for extra sweetness and chew, and because my girls loooove them. they turned out perfect in the recipe!

cranberry spiced nuts recipe

3 cups raw walnuts
3 cups raw pecans
1 cup Ocean Spray® Craisins® Dried Cranberries
6 tbsp maple syrup (divided in 1/2)
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
grated rind of 2 oranges
6 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
3 tsp ground cinamon
a couple healthy pinches of cayenne
a healthy pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp salt

preheat oven to 350. mix nuts and Ocean Spray® Craisins® Dried Cranberries together in a large bowl. mix coconut oil, 1/2 of maple syrup and spices together (including orange zest) in a small bowl. pour over nut mixture and mix well. lay on lined baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes, flipping once halfway. immediately after taken out of the oven, add the remaining maple syrup and mix well. once cooled, divided and package into air tight jars. you can decorate your mason jars with dried oranges, festive tags, twine, and christmas greenery and then gift to friends and family this season. we’re giving some to the girls teachers this year. this recipe makes 6-8 small jars.

the end result: chewy, crunchy, sweet and delicious! a must try if you’re into this sort of thing. 🙂

i think it’s important to adapt traditions to suit your family needs. just like i did with this recipe. i don’t expect my girls to do things exactly the same way i did things, but i hope i inspire them to create their own traditions. i think some of the best type of traditions are ones that have been done in the past, but modified to match your current lifestyle and needs.

this blog post was kindly sponsored by Ocean Spray Canada


  • Reply Helena December 14, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    These nuts look delicious – what a great idea for a homemade gift! Always looking for recipes my 2yo can help with, we will be trying this one out on the weekend. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    • Reply kristinelee December 14, 2017 at 9:46 pm

      you’re most welcome! these are super easy to make with a young one at home… not many ingredients and the prep and cook time is minimal. hope you enjoy them as much as us. 🙂

  • Reply Merissa December 18, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    These look so cute and delicious! Did you use real greenery to decorate your jars?

  • Reply Lara December 19, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    How long did you put the decorative oranges in the oven for?

  • Reply Claire December 27, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    Will definitely start this tradition next year – I may have missed this post but how and what do you do with the oranges to dry them for decoration?

  • Reply Carly January 15, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    I agree! After becoming a mom, traditions became so much more important to me. We have lots of family traditions we try and carry on with my son each season. Every year I make an old fashioned family photo album that is an actual book we can hold and look at that contains all the pictures of the year. I love having those memories!

    Have a wonderful week!
    Carly at A Modern Mom Blog

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