Sunday, November 4, 2012

Two Recipes for Roasted Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)

In these recipes, pepitas (also known as pumpkin seeds) are roasted in the oven with no added oil and very little sugar. Flavored two different ways, one with cocoa and one with pumpkin spice, you won't be able to resist snacking on them!

pumpkin spice roasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds

I'm addicted to pepitas. "What the heck are pepitas?" you may wonder. They are actually pumpkin seeds.....but it's more fun to say pepitas! I like to buy the raw, hulled pepitas and then roast them myself. They are green when raw and look like this:

raw pepitas or hulled pumpkin seeds

I recently received a free sample of SuperSeedz from Kathie's Kitchen at work and quickly got addicted. They are awesome! I love the Cocoa Joe flavor. I'm lucky to get free samples at my job, but sometimes I get hooked on something and then the store ends up not carrying it. I'm not sure if these will be coming down the line, so I came up with my own recipes in the meantime.

Pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, are a very healthy snack. They have protein, fiber and healthy fats to keep you satiated. They also have iron and minerals. Pepitas have become my go-to snack to keep my energy up at work.

I was really impressed with the SuperSeedz and the sugar count. Only 2 grams of sugar per serving. They are a little sweet, but not too much. I wanted my own recipes to have lots of flavor too, but very little sugar. I worked backwards converting grams to teaspoons and figured out how much sugar to use, then added the additional flavors to achieve just the right taste. The flavors I decided to make were cocoa (pictured below) and pumpkin spice (pictured at top).

cocoa roasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds

The trick was roasting the seeds without burning the cocoa powder or spice. I ended up par-roasting the seeds first so they could get a head start. I also figured out how to make these with no additional oil to keep the calorie count down: dry roasting in the oven with water! It may sound different, but it works. And only 2 grams of sugar per serving!

Cocoa Roasted Pepitas
makes 5 (1/4 cup) servings
pumpkin spice and cocoa roasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds

Ingredients
1 cup raw, hulled pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons granulated cane sugar ~or~
   1 tablespoon dextrose/glucose
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread pepitas out on the cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, mix together the water, cocoa, sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir just until sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
  4. After the pepitas have roasted for the 15 minutes, stir them into the cocoa mixture until well coated. Spread seeds out again on the parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until almost dried out.
  5. Seeds will finish drying (and pop and crackle!) as they cool.

Pumpkin Spice Roasted Pepitas
makes 5 (1/4 cup) servings

Ingredients
1 cup raw, hulled pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice blend
2 teaspoons granulated cane sugar ~or~
   1 tablespoon dextrose/glucose
pinch of salt

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread pepitas out on the cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, mix together the water, pumpkin spice, sugar and salt. Stir just until sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
  4. After the pepitas have roasted for the 15 minutes, stir them into the pumpkin spice mixture until well coated. Spread seeds out again on the parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until almost dried out.
  5. Seeds will finish drying (and pop and crackle!) as they cool.

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