Friday, December 4, 2015

Autumn Spiced Roasted Cashews & Pumpkin Seeds

I don't know about you, but I've never been a fan of things that are "pumpkin-spiced."  Where's the pumpkin, dude?  [cue awkward chirping of awkward crickets]

Even though I know that in most cases there will be no pumpkin ingredients at all and I know in my head that "pumpkin spice" simply refers to a combination of aromatic spices typically used in making pumpkin pie, I still have that association of pumpkin flavor, texture, and color when a food or drink is  is advertised as pumpkin spiced.  Knowing all of these things, I *still* manage to find a way to expect it.  And as someone who loves pumpkin, it can sometimes be difficult to hide my underwhelmed response/shock.

Yup, still no pumpkin.

So in making this recipe for roasted nuts and seeds, I wanted to honor the seasons, yes, but I also wanted to honor all the pumpkin lovers and those who say what they mean and mean what they say.  And just to be clear, pumpkin seeds only - no actual pumpkin. [wink]

A beautiful snack or accompaniment to a Holiday meal that hearkens to the comfort and nostalgia of the season that will keep you and your guests coming back for more.

Autumn Spiced Roasted Cashews, Coconut, & Pumpkin Seeds
Gluten Free & Vegan

Active Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time:  none
Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes
Yield:  approx. 3 cups

1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons cold water)

2 c raw cashews
1 c raw pumpkin seeds
1/3 c unsweetened dried coconut flakes
2 teaspoons flax and/or sesame seeds
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon pink sea salt
1/4 c coconut sugar

2-3 teaspoons hemp hearts

What you'll need:  Medium mixing bowl, small bowl, parchment paper, large baking tray or cookie sheet, heat resistant spatula

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Combine flax and water in a small bowl.  Wait 2-3 minutes for the flax to hydrate and create your "egg whites."  Line tray or sheet with parchment paper.
2.  Combine all remaining ingredients except hemp hearts in mixing bowl.  
3.  When "egg" is ready, add to dry ingredients to coat well and distribute spices and seasonings uniformly.
4.  Transfer mixture to parchment lined tray and spread evenly.
5.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, and then fold in the hemp hearts - this adds a nice contrast in both color and texture.
6.  Continue to bake for 10-15 more minutes, or until golden brown.  While hot, the texture will not be crisp, but in minutes as it cools, the sugar will begin to harden up to create a candied texture.
7.  Serve and enjoy once fully cooled.

Deconstructed Pumpkin Spice.

Time to get "eggy" with it.

Adding hemp hearts, moving the outer edges in to the center and vice versa.

Bet you can't have just one [handful]

So simple and great to make ahead of time.  And what a great, healthful alternative to the snacks that flood the holiday market at this time.  Brimming with healthy fats, great fiber and protein, and no refined sugar.  Need some last minute gifts?  Pour some into small mason jars, tie a bow on it, and Presto! A present you know they will use, and once the contents are gone, a container they will be able to use again and again.  Canary and Mother Earth approved.

Enjoy this warming recipe and may you find opportunities for 
laughter, connection, gratitude, and love in abundance this Holiday season!

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