Crunchy, sweet & tangy. A nut-free snack & treat for this holiday season that delivers a nutrient powerhouse (but you don’t have to tell the kids!)
Nut-Free Crunchy Snack
In our household, we avoid peanuts and use walnuts and pecans sparingly. Many of you avoid nuts, or have company that avoids nuts. This recipe is a delicious treat.
I buy pepitas (pumpkin seeds) that are already shelled and roasted from Trader Joes. I also use their dark maple syrup. The darker the maple syrup, the more maple flavor it has.
One ounce of pepitas provide more than a third of your daily recommendation for phosphorus, manganese and magnesium; one quarter of the iron you need in a day and decent amounts of zinc and copper. Plus in one ounce of pepitas you receive 7 grams of protein – the same amount of protein as one ounce of meat! Plus antioxidants and polyunsaturated fat.
Dried cranberries complement the sweetness of the maple syrup and the richness of the pepitas.
You can vary the spices of this mixture. We like just a little cinnamon and no salt. But adding allspice, cloves, ginger or cardamom would be great additions. A pumpkin pie spice would also be awesome.
The tricky part of this recipe is that maple syrup can remain sticky. So the cooking time is approximate. The mixture will continue to dry a little as it cools, but it needs to be quite dry before it comes out of the oven.
Store it in an airtight container so that it will stay crisp.
Maple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) roasted
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup dark
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 300°.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchement paper or a liner.
- If your pumpkin seeds are not toasted, roast in oven for about 20 - 30 minutes until almost dry.
- Transfer pumpkin seeds to a medium sized bowl.
- Add maple syrup and mix until well coated.
- Sprinkle cinnamon and salt over pumpkin seeds. Mix well.
- Pour pumpkin seed mixture onto lined baking sheet. Use a spatula to scrape out all syrup and spices.
- Use the spatula to spread out pumpkin seeds into a single layer.
- Roast for 15-30 minutes, until dry. Be sure the seeds do not burn. They may appear slightly sticky but not wet or very sticky. Keep roasting until almost dry.
- Let seeds cool for about 30 minutes. They will finish drying.
- Break seeds into clusters if necessary and mix with cranberries.
- Store in an airtight container or bag. Enjoy!