Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sweet & Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Seeds from 1 Pumpkin Pie pumpkin, mine was 8" tall
1 tbsp. melted butter/margarine (or spray margarine)
1 tbsp. brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. ea. ground cinnamon, nutmeg 
*optional (ground allspice, cloves, cardamom)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove seeds from pumpkin (take off pumpkin strings), rinse in a strainer, and blot dry with a paper towel. Place in mixing bowl, stir in melted butter, and sprinkle in sugar and spices. When mixed, spread in one layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Don't be tempted to put any excess butter/sugar mixture on the seeds, the extra sugar tends to burn. 

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Watch carefully so the sugar doesn't burn! You might hear some popping noises while baking when the seeds puff up and dry out. 
Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes. Scrape seeds off foil with a spatula.

The final product reminds me of CornNuts. Nice and crunchy and sweet! I'm sure these would also be great with smoked paprika instead of the pumpkin pie spices as well. Wrapped up in a cute jar they would make a great stocking stuffer!

Warm & Chewy Cranberry Walnut Bread

Makes 8-10 slices

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup whole wheat flour, sifted
2 tbsp. agave syrup + 2 tbsp. sugar (or your favorite combination of sweeteners)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 cup chopped fresh cranberries (it was half of the small bag of fresh berries for me)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 egg
3/4 cup orange juice (& orange zest if you have some)
2 tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp. ea. of ground cinnamon and nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the white sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 

Chop the cranberries in a food processor until the berries are at least cut in half or smaller. Stir the chopped cranberries into the dry ingredients and coat. Create a well in the dry mixture and combine the beaten egg, agave syrup, orange juice, oil and chopped walnuts. Mix until everything is moist. 

Spray a 9x5x3" loaf pan with oil and fill with bread batter. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Let cool before slicing.

I love to eat this for breakfast in the winter. I warm up a slice and smear with cream cheese! Of course it is great on its own... or with yogurt on top. It makes the house smell great and is a hit with guests.