Pumpkin Seed Treats #tastytuesday #paleo

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Since I was a child, we always carved a pumpkin and toasted the delicious pumpkin seeds for a quick and healthy snack. So before we are greeted by winter, let’s enjoy what’s left of fall. It’s easy.

Buy a baking pumpkin (the outside can be transformed into pumpkin puree and used in muffins, smoothies or pies – all sorts of baking!). Once you cut the pumpkin open scoop out the seeds into a strainer. I prefer this as it makes it much easier for cleaning. The next step is annoying, you need to wash the “pumpkin guts” off the seeds – very carefully to avoid washing away those delicious seeds. They are so slippery and gooey…

I usually let my seeds air dry for 30-60 minutes to allow for quicker baking time. Once they are dry, place them on a baking tray (add parchment paper to avoid sticking). Season with whatever strikes your fancy. I like to keep ours simple so I usually just add a bit of sea salt (although add a little garlic salt or cayenne makes for an interesting flavour).  When they are good and seasoned, pop them into the oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 mins (be sure to watch them so they don’t burn). They are ready when they start to brown. Let set in room temperature for 15 minutes, they get really nice and crunchy at this point!

Pumpkin seeds are filled with lots of vitamins, antioxidants; some would even say people with diabetes should eat more of these tasty seeds to help control blood sugar. If you want to learn more click here.

PS: Oh for all those celebrating American Thanksgiving this weekend, toasted pumpkin seeds taste amazing in homemade stuffing or as a topper to a baked butternut squash dish drizzled in maple syrup (Canadian of course).

#SeasonalFallTreats Garden Fresh Salsa

IMG_0403Fall Appetizers

As the weather grows cooler, we start to see an abundance of fresh produce emerge in local markets and stores just before the wonderful gardening season ends. This is one of our last opportunities to taste the delicious fresh burst of juice from those home grown tomatoes and the experience the joys of cooking with garden-fresh herbs freshly picked. Growing up in a cold weather country like Canada, we look forward to the seasons where our produce is entirely farm picked and local. During the winter it becomes more difficult to find the quality of produce that you get in the summer.

One of my favourite appetizers, perfect for any upcoming holiday celebration is a bowl of fresh salsa served with only finest tomatoes and herbs. This dish is not only easy to make, but is a real crowd pleaser. Add a few crackers, homemade kale chips or baguette thinly sliced (and toasted with seasoning) and you have yourself delicious appetizers that will have your guests coming back for more.

Here’s what you will need:

4-5 roma tomatoes (diced small)
¼ cup of finely chopped red onion
1 tsp of salt
½ cup of finely chopped peppers (mix the colors up for a beautiful display)
1 tbsp of fresh coriander
juice of 1 small lime

Mix all the ingredients together, and to allow time for the natural flavours to infuse.  I like to prepare it and refrigerate it 1 hour before serving. Happy Serving!  

** If you enjoy a bit of a kick, very finely chop one small jalapeno and add it to the mix.