I love experimenting in the kitchen, coming up with easy (MUST be easy) and nutritious recipes that hopefully taste good (my team of critics can be harsh)!
I’m often searching for healthy snacks to add to lunches for myself and family. Most “prepared” snacks are just loaded with sugar, salt and fat (the ultimate nasty trifecta). I often teach classes close to or during mealtime. My boys, too, are often stretched when it comes to eating as they have sports practices to navigate. We are often “in need” of a healthy snack that will help us fill the gap between meals. What to do, what to do?
Pumpkin seeds to the rescue!
A recent article by Dr. Mercola highlighted the numerous benefits of raw pumpkin seeds. Among them:
Heart healthy magnesium
Zinc for immune support
Plant-based omega 3 fats
Assists in insulin regulation
May help with postmenopausal symptoms
Heart and liver health
In an ideal world, we would eat our pumpkin seeds both soaked and raw. This would make them more nutritious and easier to digest. Knowing that not everyone has a dehydrator at home, I’m making this recipe with a conventional oven, although it certainly can be adapted if you have a dehydrator.
In addition to the benefits of pumpkin seeds, this recipe includes the blood sugar stabilizing, anti-inflammatory and LDL cholesterol lowering benefits of cinnamon; magnesium and antioxidant rich raw cacao; and the lower glycemic index advantages of coconut sugar. Yes, this is a sweet treat, but not too sweet! It can be enjoyed on its own, added to granola, cereals, trail mix, yogurt….lots of options!
Cinnamon Cacao Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup of raw organic pumpkin seeds (ideally soaked and dried, but don’t let this stop you)
1 teaspoon coconut oil warmed to liquid
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon raw cacao
pinch or two of salt
Melt the coconut oil on a baking sheet. Once melted, add pumpkin seeds and throughly coat. “Roast” for 15 – 20 minutes at 170 degrees. Remove from oven and toss with coconut sugar/cinnamon/cacao mix. I put mine back in the oven once the oven was turned off, and the additional time helped them crisp up a bit without losing vital nutrients. Once cooled, store in air-tight container.