Smoky & Spicy Nut, Sesame, and Coconut ‘Bacon’ Bar Nuts



I really can’t say that I intended to get this recipe up before Valentine’s Day because I didn’t think of it until the 15th. Heck, it would’ve made a great Superbowl appetizer too! Oh well, better late than never. Olympics appetizer, anyone?

You may not know this, but Eric was a squirrel in his former life. Or at least I think there’s a good chance. Any time he’s hungry for a snack you can be sure his hand will be in the jar of almonds or cashews. After demolishing the stash he says, “You might want to write almonds/cashews on the grocery list…” It’s a constant struggle to keep nuts stocked in this house, I tell you. I guess I should be happy that he enjoys a healthy snack even if he does dip into my coveted baking stash.

We usually don’t do anything too fancy for the 14th; good food tends to always make an appearance though. There’s a recipe for coconut bacon in my bonus recipe bundle and Eric thinks it’s just about the best thing going. So this weekend, I decided to make an edible gift inspired by that recipe, sneaking in his favourite nuts. I knew this spicy & smoky mix would make his head spin!

From start to finish this recipe takes less than 30 minutes, but you’d never know from the gourmet end result. The addition of large flake coconut is just divine – the coconut flakes get all crispy in the oven, adding an unexpected element to traditional roasted nuts. I don’t think I’ll make roasted nuts without flaked coconut from now on! Throw this mix into a cute jar for an easy gift that will be enjoyed by many sneaky hands.


3.7 from 3 reviews

Smoky & Spicy Nut, Sesame, and Coconut 'Bacon' Bar Nuts

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, oil-free


Intensely smoky, spicy, and toasty - this roasted nut mix is a great party appetizer. Sweet almonds and cashews are a lovely contrast to the smoky, savoury flavour of the liquid smoke, coconut aminos, smoked paprika, sea salt, and cayenne pepper. Just a warning: the smoked flavour is very strong while cooking (and after) - I suggest opening a window before beginning and putting on the range fan, if desired.

3 cups
Prep time
Cook time


  • 1 cup raw cashew halves
  • 1 cup raw whole almonds
  • 3/4 cup large-flake unsweetened coconut (not shredded coconut)
  • 2 tablespoons hulled sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or low-sodium tamari
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (depending on how smoky you like it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cashews, almonds, coconut, and sesame seeds.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the coconut aminos (or tamari), maple syrup, liquid smoke, salt, paprika, and cayenne until combined.
  4. Pour wet ingredients on top of the nuts and stir well with a spatula until thoroughly coated.
  5. With the spatula, scoop the mixture onto the prepared sheet. Use the spatula to get all the liquid and seeds off the side of the bowl and spoon it onto the nut mixture.
  6. Spread nuts out into a thin layer.
  7. Bake at 325F for 10 minutes, stir, and bake another 10 minutes, or until the coconut flakes are golden. Turn on the range fan and open a window while it bakes as the smoked aroma is powerful.
  8. Cool for 10 minutes on the pan. Store in a glass jar.


Note: To make this recipe soy-free, use coconut aminos.


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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cassie February 17, 2014

Looks yummy!


2 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat February 17, 2014

Mmmm these sound so good, Ange!! I love your other bar nut mix (the one you made for Canada day a couple of years ago I think, and the same one we had at your bday). And I had to laugh about your comment that Eric used to be a squirrel in a previous life. Since he and I love carrots so much, I guess we can also assume we were once rabbits too? ;) Happy Family Day!


3 Angela (Oh She Glows) February 17, 2014

I’ll have to make you some next time you are visiting. :)
Happy Family Day to you too. Hope you are enjoying some time off!


4 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh February 17, 2014

Ooh, I bet these are awesome!

I had to crack up at the opening a window while they’re baking comment. I wish I had done that before making Sriracha salt as gifts. It smelled like an ethnic restaurant in our home for 5 days! :)


5 Angela (Oh She Glows) February 17, 2014

whoa, that is intense! I can only imagine. haha. Sometimes you don’t even know until it’s too late, right??


6 Kaitlyn @ Wanderlust Kait February 17, 2014

Looks great! I’ve been looking for a recipe for spicy nuts, not just sweet ones, so this is great!


7 Averie @ Averie Cooks February 17, 2014

I love bar nuts! Bar nuts and plenty of drinks make a great dinner :) So creative, Angela! Liquid smoke & coconut aminos – great thinking for these. pinned


8 Amanda February 17, 2014

I think my husband was a squirrel in his former life too. We go through a crazy amount of nuts each week – like a full bag of almonds, cashews, pecans, pistachios. Not to mention dried fruit for his trail mixes. The people who work at Trader Joe’s always look at me funny, and then when they see all of the kale and greens they put two and two together and say “Oh, are you vegan?!” Yes, we are vegan nut-hoarders.
I can’t wait to try your recipe, Angela! I love the sweet/spicy/smoky combination.


9 Abby @ The Frosted Vegan February 17, 2014

I need to use my liquid smoke more often, this looks amazing!


10 Erica { } February 17, 2014

I just bought some chocolate covered bacon for a friend this weekend and was a bit jealous as I’m a fanatic for the sweet + salty combo. Will satisfy my craving with this asap!


11 Emily - ItComesNaturallyBlog February 17, 2014

Good to hear of Eric, I’ve missed your antics :-) These nuts look great! Wish I knew where to get liquid smoke in the UK.


12 Linda March 4, 2014

You can get it from amazon in the UK.


13 Becky February 17, 2014

These look absolutely delicious! I am big fan of your blog, it’s a great source of inspiration, both when I don’t know what to cook, and when I need some motivation to go on taking care of my health and the health of my loved ones.
I’ve been making a slow transition from vegetarianism to veganism and I’ve found that lots and lots more food options became available to me, simply because I wan’t aware of them before. It kind of makes me expand my horizons on the cooking front.
Thank you for sharing this recipe with us, I will definitely give it a try!


14 Angela (Oh She Glows) February 17, 2014

Hey Becky, Thanks for your kind words!
I totally get what you mean about “not knowing what options were available” – I’ve discovered so many new foods since going vegan. Sure makes it interesting! Thanks for reading.


15 Kate February 17, 2014

My fiance has been frantically searching everywhere for an awesome bar nuts recipe, so we’ll have to try these! Thanks for sharing this and saving me from further experiements in this area…his last batch was, um. Interesting.


16 Emma @ Life's A Runner February 17, 2014

YUM! I’ve always loved nuts, but sometimes you just need a little something more. I’ve never even heard of liquid smoke, but I’d be willing to buy it to give these a shot. :)


17 Annaliese February 17, 2014

The nuts look like such a yummy cold-weather pick-me-up! However, I want to know what brand (“type”) of liquid smoke you use? The stuff honestly kinda scares me!


18 Angela (Oh She Glows) February 18, 2014

It’s by “Try Me” brand :)


19 lauren February 17, 2014

I love anything that uses liquid smoke! Cannot wait to make these! Sadly my husband just discovered a love for nuts. We’ve had them in the house for years but now I must share ;)


20 Megan February 17, 2014

Yummm! I haven’t ever used liquid smoke…where would I find it?


21 Angela (Oh She Glows) February 17, 2014

I found it at Whole Foods…you can probably find it online too I’m sure!


22 Trina February 17, 2014

Loblaws sells it, it’s with the barbecue sauce.


23 Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen February 17, 2014

Happy Family Day Angela! These nuts look fantastic – I love the idea of the addition coconut bacon which is something I’ve been meaning to try :D I think I might have been a squirrel in my past life too – I am so in love with nuts I hauled an extra suitcase full (haha no joke) of nuts back with me to Belgium after the Christmas holidays in Toronto because they are so expensive here! :)


24 Angela (Oh She Glows) February 17, 2014

Happy Family Day to you as well! That’s hilarious about lugging a full suitcase of nuts….you gotta do what you gotta do!


25 [email protected] February 17, 2014

This mix looks divine! I have a squirrel husband too. I have to hide my nuts if I’m planning on using them for something specific. And if I made this I would definitely have to hide a separate stash for me. :)


26 Angela @ Canned Time February 17, 2014

Smokey, sweet and salt….perfect! I love the way the simplest of flavors combine to make an even more fabulous flavor and you’ve definitely nailed a perfect combination here.
Looking forward to the new book. ♥


27 Brynn February 17, 2014

I love this recipe because just like your guy, I know mine will go nuts (pun intended) for these! He is also a squirrel, but I am glad to see him reaching for nuts over Oreos!


28 Alexe @ Keys to the Cucina February 17, 2014

Ooh this looks amazing! I need to use liquid smoke more often, really gives things a nice flavor!


29 GiselleR February 17, 2014

Who has cashews? I have cashews!! *runs into the kitchen*
This sounds sooo awesome! Can’t wait to give it a try :D
Thanks for sharing!


30 Madeline February 17, 2014

This makes me think of the Chex mix that my dad’s side of the family makes so often. It might be fun to do a version with just the nuts and some coconut flakes, and skip the Chex all together… :)


31 Adrianna February 17, 2014

I think you can even get liquid smoke at No Frills.


32 Johanna GGG February 17, 2014

this looks amazing – we have been buying smoked almonds but I get concerned at all the salt in them – this looks like smoked almonds and tofu bacon combined – and a way to deal with the nuts before they go off – this will be a snack the goes quickly


33 Karissa @ Sweet as a Cookie February 17, 2014

These look and sound so good. I need to find myself some liquid smoke.


34 Alexandra Aimee February 17, 2014

Angela, I don’t know how you always manage to come up with such amazing things, but this looks like pure heaven!!

— Alex at


35 Gabby @ the veggie nook February 17, 2014

I feel like every guy I have ever known has loved snack on nuts, I wonder what that’s about?? I could totally get on board with a mix like this!


36 Maddi Leigh February 17, 2014

These nuts look so yummy! And they would be perfect for game day!


37 Lesley February 18, 2014

Hey Angela, I haven’t seen this large flake coconut around….did you get it at Whole Foods also? I have to make this! I’m drooling already! Thanks so much!


38 Tina Muir February 18, 2014

Sounds delightful Angela! I try to eat a lot of nuts as snacks between meals. Especially during this time when the intense workouts are around twice a week, and I am running 18 miles every Sunday around 6:40 per mile, I need to try to work on my nutrition as much as possible to maintain performance, while still enjoying eating.

Sometimes I get a little bored of just eating nuts as they are. This would be perfect to enjoy them. I love smoky flavors and what a great combination with bacon and coconut! I think you could sell it! Yum!


39 Lorissa February 18, 2014

Just made this and can’t stop eating! Amazing! Thanks!


40 Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir February 18, 2014

Ha! Maybe I was a squirrel in my former life too. Nuts are always my go-to snack. Love this. I’ve been loving on smoky coconut flakes like crazy lately. Bet this would be good with a little popcorn thrown in, too.


41 Stacy L. February 18, 2014

These are amazingly delicious and so simple! What I love about majority of your recipes is that I can see it on your blog and run downstairs and whip it up immediately – all simple ingredients that are already in my cupboard, yet you bring them together in such new and marvelous ways!


42 mary February 18, 2014

I’ll enjoy the pictures…I don’t think I’ll make this because I would just DEMOLISH them! yum!


43 Dayna @ The Kitchen Library February 18, 2014

Drool! Nuts are always my go-to snack!

Can I substitute tamari with low-sodium soy sauce?


44 Joshua Hampton February 18, 2014

I know these nuts would make my head spin. They look so yummy.


45 Suze February 18, 2014

Hi, Angela,

Goodness, my work colleague and I are very smitten with your blog! I told him to check out your peppermint patty recipe that you recently posted for V Day (His patties are runny in the middle.) – among some very tempting other recipes.

I was wondering: do you have any recipes for pickled veggies? I looked them up on your index, but either missed them or they’re not there. I love pickled ginger, and regularly hound my the sushi place near my office for it. It is supposed to be excellent for the digestion – and it sure can heat up one’s core during this ridiculously cold, snowy, gray winter!


46 Stacie February 18, 2014

Tried these today and they are amazing!


47 Elena February 18, 2014

From one blogger to another, wanted to give you heads up–I saw some of your content illegally copied on I have had several of my posts stolen, along with other bloggers, and dealt with this site to remove them. I would highly recommend the same to stop illegal content pirating. You can reach out for their email address.

Happy blogging.


48 Angela (Oh She Glows) February 19, 2014

Thanks for letting me know!


49 Alice Phillips February 19, 2014

These look yummy and fairly easy to make. Always good to keep a jar of nibbles around…just in case.


50 Jenny February 19, 2014

If these are as good as they sound I have to try them!


51 Linda Schaap February 19, 2014

That looks like an amazing recipe to convince the guys that eating healthy can be absolutely tasty! Will not tell them it’s healthy till AFTER they ate it, just to make sure the’ll try ;)


52 Ellen February 19, 2014

I am trying to figure out the calorie count…love this recipe.
Figured 1/4 c equals about 180 cals
I am trying to lose weight and need the portion control.does this seem right?
Love your blog


53 Dominique February 21, 2014

Just wondering where you got your large-flake coconut and if it’s sulphite-free? I recall seeing some sulphite-free coconut at Whole Foods (I’m in Toronto) but can’t recall if it was flaked or just shredded. Thanks!


54 C L February 22, 2014

I had it for breakfast, I had it for lunch, I added it into my mix-green salad with tahini dressing…I wonder how it would go with some ice cream?


55 Kira - The Healthable Old Soul February 22, 2014

This is defiantly my ‘style’ of bacon! Coconut shreds!


56 Victoria February 23, 2014

These are awesome! I couldn’t find large-flake coconut, so I just added Trader Joe’s Roasted Coconut flakes afterward and they added a nice sweet dimension to it. Definitely will be making these again!


57 Susan February 24, 2014

Made these for a cocktail party on Sat. I tasted them first and thought, woot woot, I will have leftovers and can’t wait, the mix tastes AMAZING.
Well I wasn’t the only one who liked it, it was gone… my reserve stash and all…. gone.
Will be making more very soon.
Super tasty and easy. Will become a hostess and holiday gift also.



58 Angela (Oh She Glows) February 25, 2014

Hey Susan, I’m so happy to hear they were a hit – thanks!


59 Fiona February 28, 2014

This is sooo good! I made it as described except left out the sesame seeds and my Eric loves it too! I also made your carrot, lentil, sunflower pesto dish two nights ago and we loved it! I can’t wait for your cookbook to arrive!!!


60 Lauren @ ConvenientKitchen March 2, 2014

I love spicy nut mixes and it’s impossible to find a decent one in stores around my house. This looks great!


61 Alexandra March 13, 2014

These look delicious! I am constantly snacking on nuts so these seem like a must make! I usually stick to raw almonds, pistachios and raisins but this seems like the perfect little treat.


62 Alli March 21, 2014

Ok seriously, all your recipes are too good! I can’t believe how amazing these taste and how easy it was to make!


63 Carol October 26, 2014

OMG!! Gotta try these! Now I have to run out and get some liquid smoke lol !!


64 Jennifer December 22, 2014
Recipe Rating:

I made this as a gift for my dad this Christmas.
I keep picking at it bc it’s so good. At this rate, I’ll be shocked if it makes to Christmas day. Thanks for the recipe!


65 Lea Jacobson May 15, 2016
Recipe Rating:

Wow- this was really delicious! I’ve tried several coconut bacon recipes, but this one was just perfect. My friends all loved it too. Thanks for creating this!


66 bgv a3 November 14, 2017
Recipe Rating:

Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted
and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything.
Do you have any points for novice blog writers?
I’d genuinely appreciate it.


67 Angela (Oh She Glows) November 14, 2017

Hey there, So sorry to hear your previous comment was gobbled up! That’s never fun.
As for blogging tips, I think enjoying the blogging process is one of the most important keys to success. If you love what you do, it really shows, and that passion can take you a long way! Especially during a creative “drought”. With so many blogs out there now, I think it’s important to find your niche, and let readers know why you are offering something unique and/or worth coming back to.


68 Deb January 19, 2018

Tried this exactly as printed, fail for me, the flavors are way too overpowering. It wasn’t sweet, or spicy, the smoke and aminos overpowered everything.


69 Angela (Oh She Glows) January 19, 2018

Sorry to hear that, Deb! Thanks for letting me know.


70 Debra February 4, 2018

Hi Angela,

Thanks for responding, I have to say my tastebuds must have been OFF the day I made these. I made them originally to take to our camping group and so when I thought they were overpowering, I was in a “do i take them or not?” decision. My husband said take them anyway so I did and put them out on the happy hour table (a day after I made them). Something must have happened overnight because all the carnivores in our group were CRAZY for them. I liked them better the next day as well, flavors mellowed out. Seriously, I brought that and another vegan appetizers and folks were like “we love this vegan stuff you bring”… So funny considering this meat-eating crowd. . So I take it back, they were a hit.!


71 Angela (Oh She Glows) February 5, 2018

Oh Debra, that’s so great to hear!! Interesting about the flavours mellowing out too..I bet it was the smoke flavour! It can be overpowering at times. Thanks for letting me know!


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