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8 Minutes


2-4 Servings




As someone who was recently diagnosed with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, and has spent the last almost thirty years of my life without any dietary restrictions, you can imagine how hard it is now to suddenly become ill to foods I had been enjoying my whole life. My journey to wellness lead me to create each and every one of these recipes featured on Damngoodthyme.

With the diagnosis of MCAS came hormonal imbalances, leading to hypothyroidism and PCOS. What I was unaware of at the time of these diagnoses, was that diet would play the biggest role in helping me achieve remission and lose the weight gained from all of the inflammation my body was under. I began to prioritize eating high protein meals to help with blood sugar imbalances.

As a busy college student, I often found myself making salads for an easy on the go lunch, but always loved a nice crunch to add to them. I often would add sunflower seeds, chopped carrots, cucumbers, and other crunchy veggies, but with the fall approaching, I wanted something a little more festive. Which is why I created these Vegan Low Sugar Candied Walnuts.

These walnuts are made with maple syrup and coconut sugar and are therefore refined sugar free. Better yet, they are easily made on the stovetop in under 5 minutes- making them the perfect addition to your weekly meal prep.

Whether enjoyed on their own, sprinkled over salads, or used as a topping for desserts, these stovetop candied walnuts will become a favorite in your meal prep rotation!


  • 1 cup raw walnuts

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


Walnuts: The walnuts in this recipe can easily be substituted for any nut- pecan, hazelnuts, peanuts.


  1. Toast the Walnuts: Heat a non-stick skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the raw walnuts and toast them for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Toasting enhances the nutty flavor of the walnuts.

  2. Prepare the Coating: In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, ground cinnamon, and sea salt until well combined.

  3. Coat the Walnuts: Once the walnuts are toasted, pour the maple syrup mixture over them. Stir well to ensure that the walnuts are evenly coated.

  4. Continue Cooking: Continue to cook the walnuts in the skillet, stirring constantly to coat them with the syrup mixture. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until the coating thickens and caramelizes.

  5. Cooling: Remove the skillet from the heat and let the candied walnuts cool directly in the pan. They will harden as they cool.

  6. Break into Pieces: Once cooled, break the candied walnuts into bite-sized pieces. They are now ready to be enjoyed as a snack or added to your favorite dishes.

  7. Store: Store the stovetop vegan candied walnuts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.


What ingredients can I substitute?

 The walnuts in this recipe can easily be substituted for any nut- pecan, hazelnuts, peanuts.

How can I make these Vegan Candied Walnuts AIP Compliant? 

For an AIP Compliant crunchy salad topping or snack, you can substitute the walnuts for tiger nuts!


Candied walnuts are delicious additions to salads, desserts, or as standalone snacks. Proper storage is crucial to maintaining their flavor and texture.

Here are the recommended storage instructions for candied walnuts:

Room Temperature Storage (Short-Term):

  1. Cooling: Allow the candied walnuts to cool completely after making or purchasing them.

  2. Airtight Container: Store the candied walnuts in an airtight container to protect them from moisture and air. These are my favorite airtight pantry containers.

  3. Cool, Dry Place: Place the airtight container in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.

  4. Consume Within: For short-term storage at room temperature, aim to consume the candied walnuts within 1-2 weeks.

Refrigerator Storage (Extended):

  1. Cooling: Allow the candied walnuts to cool completely.

  2. Airtight Container: Transfer the candied walnuts to an airtight container or sealable plastic bag. These are my favorite resealable storage bags.

  3. Refrigerate: Store the container or bag in the refrigerator.

  4. Labeling: Label the container with the date of preparation to monitor freshness.

  5. Consume Within: For longer storage, refrigerate the candied walnuts and aim to consume them within 4-6 weeks.

Freezer Storage (Extended):

  1. Cooling: Allow the candied walnuts to cool completely.

  2. Freezer-Safe Container: Place the candied walnuts in a freezer-safe container or a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag. These are my favorite freezer storage bags.

  3. Labeling: Label the container or bag with the date of preparation for reference.

  4. Freeze: Store the candied walnuts in the freezer.

  5. Consume Within: For extended storage, freeze the candied walnuts, and consume them within 3-6 months for the best quality.


  • Avoid Moisture: Keep candied walnuts away from moisture to prevent them from becoming sticky or losing their crispness.

  • Check for Freshness: Before consuming refrigerated or frozen candied walnuts, check for any changes in texture or flavor. If they appear or smell off, it's safer to discard them.

  • Bring to Room Temperature: If you've stored candied walnuts in the refrigerator or freezer, allow them to come to room temperature before serving for the best taste and texture.