Snacks & Desserts

Spicy Banana Chips

Spicy Banana Chips

Baked with bite…

Creating healthy spicy snacks in minutes is one of our favorite things. For instance, spicy banana chips takes twenty minutes, and the end result is fiery and banana-sweet bliss.  It’s the perfect way to amp up a go-to healthy snack.

The heat comes from multiple channels: paprika and small dashes of chili powder and cayenne. Plus, there’s a little cumin to provide an earthy undertone that matches so well with the subtle sweetness of banana. If you’re concerned about too much spiciness, drop the cayenne from the recipe completely. You’ll still get a minor sizzle from the paprika and chili powder, though when is a minor sizzle enough for fans of the pepper scale?

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Mexican Fruit Salad

Mexican Fruit Salad

Fiery fruits…

Ready to turn your delicious everyday fruit salad into something fiery and – believe it – even more flavorful?  A little chili powder goes a long way in this Mexican fruit salad recipe. It’ll light up your healthy dessert or snack – your mouth won’t know what hit it.

Now don’t go reaching for any old chili powder. You don’t want the generic seasoning as it’s a mix of spices, including cumin, oregano, and garlic. That’s too much spice conflicting with the sweet tropical fruit. Instead opt for a chili powder made from 100% hot peppers. There are many to choose from, whether the mild and earthy ancho powder or the fiery chile de àrbol powder. Even smoky pepper powders like chipotle work well – that is, of course, if you like the smoky undertone. Or if you simply want fire with little in between you and the sweet tang of fresh fruit, go for a sprinkle of cayenne. It has a big spicy bite, but overall it’s neutral in taste compared to other peppers. 

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Spicy Almonds

Spicy Almonds

Toasted with cayenne kick…

Sure roasted almonds alone are excellent to snack on as they are, but why not take ten minutes and turn those almonds into a fiery treat? Spicy almonds are perfect for parties, adding that extra spice twist that’ll make a memorable splash among friends and family.

Cayenne pepper provides the primary kick, with a little extra warmth from black pepper. It’s significant spice, so feel free to pull back on the cayenne used if you’re preparing for a group where spice tolerance is mixed. Halve the amount of cayenne (1/2 teaspoon) is best for those occasions.

The recipe calls for unsalted roasted almonds, but you can use salted roasted almonds instead – simply remove the extra salt from the ingredient list. We prefer less salt and more heat (and, if you’re reading PepperScale you may too), so opt for the unsalted roasted almonds if you can so that you can control the balance completely. 

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Old Bay Peanuts

Old Bay Peanuts

Southern snacking…

There are some simple snacks in life that bring so much joy. And for any Marylander, Old Bay peanuts are one of those things. Think of the peanut as the perfect transfer mechanism to get our Old Bay fix. Seriously. It’s Southern snacking perfected down to its simplest form. Easy to make, deliciously nutty and salty, and don’t forget the subtle simmering heat from the paprika in the Old Bay.

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Old Bay Sunflower Seeds

Old Bay Sunflower Seeds

A perfect Chesapeake snack…

Sure, you can opt for the packaged options, but for us do-it-yourselfers in the kitchen, making it from scratch is so much fun. There’s a delicious simmering heat to Old Bay which we just love, so simple recipes like this homemade Old Bay sunflower seed recipe are right up our alley. It’s quick to make, and there’s that spicy seasoned Maryland crab seasoning flavor that makes you sit up and take notice. To us, it’s a perfect snack – simple, crunchy, a little heat, and a whole lot of spice. Oh, and let’s not forget healthier than most. 

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Spicy Caramel Popcorn

Spicy Caramel Popcorn

Caramel meets cayenne…

Snacking doesn’t get much tastier than a batch of homemade spicy caramel popcorn. Sure it takes a little time to whip up, but the reactions you’ll receive from friends and family are well worth the time!

Cayenne pepper powder adds the edge to the salty, sweet, and buttery deliciousness of the caramel. It can pack a surprising amount of heat in this recipe, so consider lessening the amount used (half the amount) if you’re making it for the first time or if you’re serving it to mixed company with unknown spicy food tendencies.

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Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Super Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

A crispy snack with extra smack!

Who doesn’t love crispy? But you know what’s better? Crispy with a big, bold spiciness. These super spicy roasted chickpeas have you covered from all ends. Expect this snack to disappear fast. Eating only one – or even a handful – is near impossible.

Cayenne pepper powder is the heat source – the recipe calls for one teaspoon, but we wouldn’t stop you from doubling down on the cayenne to get your spicy snacking on. Too hot? Lower the cayenne to half a teaspoon and increase the chili powder by the same amount. The addition of cumin to the mix provides a delicious earthiness that works very well with the nuttiness of the chickpeas. 

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Mango With Chili Powder

Mango With Chili Powder

Healthy and simply delicious…

Tropical fruits and chili peppers are a perfect natural pairing. For instance, mango and chili powder makes a super-tasty (and super-healthy) snack or dessert! Best of all, the mango is one of the more versatile fruits in terms of edibility throughout their ripening cycle. Green mangos (a.k.a. raw mangos) have a delicious sourness to them that acts as natural foil to chili powder’s heat and earthiness. Or opt for ripe mangos and their rich sweet tang. You can also have it both ways – sweet and sour – by adding a little lime juice to the ripe mangos before sprinkling on the chili powder. It’s a simple snack that’s packed with flavor.

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Spicy Candied Pecans

Spicy Candied Pecans

You can’t eat just one…

Caramelized candy pecans with cayenne? Count us in as super-fans of this easy to make spicy snack. Know you’ll likely be making more than one batch in a cooking session as they will go fast.

The cayenne pepper powder (and the small amount used) adds a suitable snacking kick: Not too hot and a perfect neutral flavor that lets the caramelized yumminess of these pecans shine. But if you want more spice, simply double the amount used to a teaspoon of cayenne. It’s sweet, spicy, and nutty all in one.

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