Make yourself something tasty, low calorie and healthy to nibble on. Saying 'No Snacking' as an absolute is a little unrealistic. Permission Granted for these!
After pointing out in 'High Protein Mini Meals' series that pumpkin seeds are a tasty protein treat (14g protein per 1/2 cup), I received a lot of email that I didn't tell anyone how I make them!
Others asked if I open them and only eat the green inner kernel. How do you eat them? Here is a step-by-step as to how I prepare a bowl of Toasted Seasoned Pumpkin Seeds that I pop into my mouth whole as once you toast them, the entire seed is tasty and crunchy!
- Separate the seeds from their flesh. Your hands will get very orange and slimy - embrace it as its part of the fun - roll up your sleeves and go for it. Squeeze the big pieces of flesh right where the seeds attach, and they'll fall off in clumps. Carefully pick out any remaining stringy stuff. People always want to tell you that this is a great kids project - IT IS NOT A KIDS PROJECT - it's messy and you want clean seeds if you intend to eat them. So unless your kids moonlight at a Nike Factory, they probably won't be able to perform the task to a reasonable standard.
- Rinse and then boil your seeds to ensure that they toast evenly. Bring a couple quarts of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon salt. Throw in the clean seeds and cook for about ten minutes. Drain in a colander or wire strainer and pat dry with paper towels.
- Transfer the dry seeds to a baking sheet and toss to evenly coat with Olive Oil, Salt, Garlic Powder and Smoked Paprika. Or just Olive Oil and Salt. Or Olive Oil, Salt, and Black Pepper. Or Olive Oil, Salt and Curry Powder. Or Olive Oil and Sazon Adobo. Or Olive Oil, Salt, and Chili Powder. Oil allows the salt and seasonings to stick and create the proper toasting environment.
- Toast in preheated 325 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned and roasty toasty. Toss with additional salt if needed. Store in a small jar or container to use on salads, cottage cheese, or to nibble while watching The Voice!