Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A delicious nut-free snack - Pepitas!

David is the cook in our family. Seriously. The guy is talented. I am the utilitarian, the-kids-can't-go-to-bed-unless-they've-eaten cook and while I can follow a recipe, I have very little intuition in the kitchen (unfortunately). So if you are a cook like David, you may not actually even consider this a recipe. But if you are a cook like me...well, here you go!

Here is one of our family's favorite snacks. Easy and delish:

Roasted Pepitas
Pepitas are also called Mexican pumpkin seeds and they can be found in most bulk food sections in grocery stores. They are inexpensive - even when organic. And if your kids love salty, but you have to stay away from tree-nuts at school, this is a great snack. (And yes, you can buy them already roasted, but they do not compare in taste...not even close.)

You will need raw pepitas, some salt that you like and Pam Cooking spray or something like it.
Dump a bunch of pepitas in a pan and turn your burner to a medium setting - you do not want to cook the pepitas too quickly. Spray the seeds one time with Pam and sprinkle on a small pinch of salt.
Shake the pepitas to get the bottom ones to the top, spray lightly one more time and sprinkle with salt. Stir or shake frequently to keep the pepitas moving while they roast.
It will take less than 5 minutes to roast a big batch. Pepitas actually pop like popcorn, so you'll know you're on the right track when you hear them popping. Finally, when about half of them are browned, I spray one more time lightly and add one more small pinch of salt.  
They are delicious warm or at room temperature. They'll keep for quite a while in a sealed container although they never last here long enough for me to know exactly how long you can store them. Here is a photo to show you how the color will change raw to roasted.
David built us these beautiful shelves for our nuts and grains because our old house has no storage. We copied them pretty much exactly from Heather. I kind of want to be Heather.
Anyways, she's introducing a new class today, so check it out if you're interested in infusing more whole food goodness into your days.

Do you have mixed feelings about cooking spray? Maybe reading this will help. And here is more than you need to know about the nutritional benefits of pepitas. xo!

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