If you're like me, you absolutely hate putting any kind of food to waste. Leftovers must be given away, eaten or frozen for later. My experience working in food has only increased my desire to never let anything edible go to waste. The word edible, however, means different things to different people. Some think that items like refined sugar, vegetable oils, junk food, processed foods, frozen meals, soft drinks, juices and conventional milk are edible. To me, they only come up on my radar as "edible food like substances," items that never should be considered fit for human consumption. It is the fresh and nourishing foods should never be wasted. And so it kills me to throw away any kind of perfectly good food. Lots of things like banana peels, veggie ends, avocado pits and red pepper seeds can be easily shoved into the compost bucket, but I like to salvage everything I possibly can. This can be problematic because I hate throwing away burned food or cookies too, yet sometimes it's definitely necessary ;) Cookie crumbles can be saved for ice cream topping later right?
In the past I have always put my scooped out pumpkin seeds in the trash. I knew it was possible to use them for something, but had never tried to bother with the annoying orange stringys and was a bit daunted by the whole process. Turns out using pumpkin seeds is way easier than I had ever realized. I threw these together one day in an experimentation moment (this tends to happen a lot) and discovered that roasting seeds isn't so scary after all!
I've made these spicy seeds for a couple of times now and each time they are delicious! I've used sunflower seeds, squash seeds from a butternut squash, and also store-bought pumpkin seeds. In fact, the photo is actually of roasted squash seeds! They are all so similar and work very well.
|Mmm, naturally sugar-free, spicy and crunchy = the perfect snack!|
Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
makes a delicious spicy snack for several people
2 cups soaked fresh pumpkin seeds (from a pumpkin!)
2 Tbsp Frank's Red Hot sauce
2 Tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
To prep your pumpkin seeds:
1. Open up your pumpkin using any method that makes you most comfortable. I wash mine thoroughly and then cut it in half with a very sharp santoku knife.
2. Then pull out the seeds gently with your fingers. If you're careful, you can get a lot of the seeds out string-free with this method. Inside the pumpkin the stringies should still be attached. Place the seeds in a small bowl and try to pick out as many strings as you can.
3. Cover the seeds with some lukewarm water and about 1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt. Soak overnight. In the morning, drain the seeds (they will have sunk to the bottom and some left over strings will be on top) and separate any remaining stringies.
To make your spicy seeds:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, toss soaked seeds with hot sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix with hands to combine. The sauce should cover the seeds and there shouldn't be much excess hanging out on the bottom of the bowl. If there is excess, or if the sauce doesn't fully cover the seeds, just add equal portions of hot sauce and olive oil, or more seeds, until the seeds are fully coated but with not much excess in the bowl.
3. Spread out seeds onto a baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes. Stir seeds. Bake for 7 more minutes or until seeds have crisped but have not burned. This can happen easily so DON'T leave the kitchen! When done, let cool and store in a sealed air-tight container.
These were definitely a hit with my family for Christmas. They would also work as a great gift idea during any time of the year. Who doesn't love a spicy crunchy nourishing snack? They're a perfect introduction into healthy, real food, WAPF, and Primal eating for those who aren't quite there yet.