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Archive for Snacks

TIP OF THE DAY: Homemade Granola Bars

Granola Bars

Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars

Top: No-bake chocolate chip granola bars
from Fearless Homemaker. Here’s the recipe.
Bottom: Cherry, chocolate and cashew
granola bars from Love And Zest. Here’s
the recipe.

 

It’s National Granola Bar Day. Even if you’re happy with the bars you buy, it’s the day to make your own custom recipe (ours is dark chocolate chunks, dried cherries and pistachio nuts, sometimes with a bit of coconut).

HISTORY OF THE GRANOLA BAR

Heree’s the history of granola breakfast cereal, which was invented in the 19th century by Dr. James Caleb Jackson for his sanitarium patients. It was the first dry breakfast cereal, and the first to be eaten cold.

He actually invented “granula.” In 1881, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, proprietor of another sanitarium, copied his recipe; when Jackson brought a lawsuit, Kellog changed the name of his product to granola.

Granola bars did not appear until much later, as a better-for-you snack. Most sources credit Stanley Mason (1921-2006) as the innovator. Mason was a tireless inventor. His more than 100 inventions also included the squeezable ketchup bottle, dental floss dispensers and disposable diapers.

Granola bars are dense, chewy cereal bars made from granola ingredients—oats, honey and inclusions like dried fruits and nuts. These days, chocolate baking chips, peanut butter and other ingredients not imagined by either Jackson or Mason, are often added.

There are no “wrong” ingredients, although M&Ms and marshmallows seem to defeat the purpose of a nutritious snack. Here’s a basic recipe:

 
RECIPE: GRANOLA BARS

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (or a mix of other seeds)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts of choice (a mixture is fine)
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ, oat bran or ground flaxseed*
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (or canola oil), melted, plus extra to grease the pan
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted nuts)
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups dried fruit in any combination (a list follows)
  •  

    *If you don’t like these ingredients, use more oats. For gluten-free bars, use gluten-free rolled oats.
     
    Dried Fruit Options

  • Apricots, chopped
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Coconut, shredded or flaked
  • Currants
  • Cranberries
  • Dates, chopped
  • Figs, chopped
  • Raisins and/or sultanas
  • Tropical dried fruits: mango, papaya, pineapple
  •  
    More Ingredients

  • Candied ginger, diced
  • Chocolate chips
  • Nuts, in any combination
  • Peanut butter or other nut butter
  • Rice Krispies
  • Seeds, any kind or mixture
  • Spices: gingerbread spices, orange zest, pumpkin pie spices
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 by 9-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper or foil, leaving “handles” on two sides for lifting. Set aside.

    2. COMBINE the oats, seeds and nuts and spread onto a rimmed sheet pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven, transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

    3. STIR in the honey, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a saucepan; stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the oat mixture, toss until the mixture is well coated, then add the dried fruit.

     

    Coconut Cranberry Granola Bar

    Apple Pie Granola Bars

    Top: Coconut cranberry raisin granola
    bars from Bella Baker. Here’s the recipe. Bottom: Apple pie granola bars from The Baker Chick. Here’s the recipe.

     
    4. POUR the mixture into the prepared baking pan and press down on it, tamping it as tightly as possible with a rubber spatula or other implement. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the granola is golden brown. (The longer it bakes, the harder the bars.)

    5. COOL for 2 hours before slicing into bars. Use a serrated knife. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for a week, using parchment or wax paper to keep the bars from sticking. You can also freezer them for up to 6 months.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Cabbage Chips

    We over-kaled last year. We couldn’t escape it: It seemed as if every restaurant entrée we ordered came with kale. We made too many kale chips as “better for you” snacks.

    Now we’re on a kale moratorium, and were happy to discover that you can also make chips from kale’s cruciferous cousin, cabbage. The recipe is from our favorite gourmet grocer, Good Eggs in San Francisco.

    RECIPE: CABBAGE CHIPS

    Ingredients

  • 1 head green cabbage
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Red chile flakes or caraway seeds
  • Optional: yogurt-dill dip
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 225°F. Line two baking sheets with wire racks; parchment is fine if you don’t have racks.

    2. CUT the cabbage into quarters and discard the tough outermost leaves. Carefully remove the innermost leaves and spread them on the baking sheets/racks in a single layer.

    3. DRIZZLE or brush the leaves lightly with olive oil and use a brush (or your fingers) to spread the oil over the front and back of each leaf.

    4. BAKE for about 90 minutes, until the cabbage is crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oven and season with salt and chile flakes. Eat immediately or store in the fridge in an airtight container.

    5. MAKE the optional yogurt dip. Blend nonfat Greek yogurt with dill, optional minced garlic and salt to taste. Or, substitute curry powder for the dill.

     

    Cabbage Chips

    Green Cabbage

    Cabbage is the new kale chip. It’s one of the lowest-priced fresh vegetables. Photos courtesy Good Eggs.

     
    THE CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES FAMILY

    Your healthcare providers want you to eat more cruciferous veggies.

    Cruciferous vegetables—also known as brassicas—are superfoods that comprise the Brassicaceae family of vegetables. These nutritional powerhouses are also packed with cancer-fighting* phytonutrients, powerful antioxidants.

    The family includes arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna, mustard greens, radish, rapeseed/canola, rapini (broccoli rabe), rutabaga, tatsoi and turnips.

    Eat up: They’re low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Consume them raw or lightly steamed to get the maximum amount of antioxidants. Just don’t overcook them! You can eat overcooked carrots or potatoes; overcooked broccoli and Brussels sprouts are not so pleasant.

    “Cruciferous” derives from cruciferae, New Latin for “cross-bearing.” It is so named because the flowers of these vegetables consist of four petals in the shape of a cross.

    Here’s a book you may enjoy: Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables: Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and More.
     
    *Studies have shown the ability of cruciferous vegetables to stop the growth of cancer cells in the breast, cervix, colon, uterus, liver, lung and prostate.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Gingerbread Cookie Dip & Spread

    gingerbread-cookie-dip-venable-qvc-230

    Yummy and easy dip for cookies, fruit and more. Photo courtesy QVC.

     

    OMG, we haven’t even finished Thanksgiving leftovers but the countdown to Christmas is ON!

    If you’re too busy racing around and don’t have much time to prepare something special for family, friends or colleagues, here’s an easy treat from QVC’s chef David Venable.

    It’s Gingerbread Dip or Spread—yummy with cookies, cinnamon-flavored snack chips and sure, crudités.

    Says David, “There isn’t a more perfect potluck or office party recipe out there, foodies. This takes seconds, needn’t be cooked or kept warm, and uses ingredients you probably already have on hand.”

    RECIPE: GINGERBREAD DIP FOR COOKIES

    Ingredients For 2 Cups

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cut in four pieces and brought to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup whipped topping
  •  
    Your Choice Of Dippers

  • Tea biscuits, gingersnaps, graham crackers, mini gingerbread men, spice cookies, vanilla wafers
  • Cinnamon-flavored bagel, pita and/or tortilla chips
  • Strawberries or other fruit
  • Pretzels
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, molasses, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth.

    2. SCRAPE the mixture into a medium-size bowl and fold in the whipped topping. Transfer to a serving dish.

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: What To Do With Broken Chip Pieces

    What do you do with all the broken chips at the bottom of the bag? Toss them?

    Sure: We toss them right on top of plain Greek yogurt.

    Or atop a green salad.

    Or on top of mac and cheese or casseroles.

    We never let those little pieces chips die heedlessly. We use them as croutons.

    We use any chip pieces, plus cracker and pretzel pieces—anything crunchy. You can store all the crumbs in an airtight jar. A mix of crumbs will taste even better!

    If you have enough, pulse them to an even consistency and use them as breading for chicken and fish.
     
    TYPES OF CHIPS: CAN YOU ADD TO THIS LIST?

    Here’s the list of chips we’ve had. Can you add to it?

       

    Taco Chip Croutons

    Sweetgreen garnishes a green salad with tortilla chips. We use the broken chip pieces at the bottom of the bag. Photo courtesy Sweetgreen.

  • Bagel chips
  • Bean chips
  • Cassava/yucca chips
  • Chickpea chips
  • Corn chips*
  • Kale chips
  • Lentil chips
  • Naan chips
  • Pasta chips
  • Pita chips
  • Plantain chips
  • Potato and sweet potato chips
  • Rice chips
  • Soy crisps
  • Tortilla chips*/taco chips (and flavored tortilla chips)
  • Vegetable chips (e.g. beet, lotus root, yucca)
  •  
    *The main difference between the two types of chip is that a tortilla chip is cut from a whole tortilla, and a corn chip is made from corn meal.

     

    Maya Kaimal Naan Chips

    Stonefire Naan Bread

    TOP PHOTO: Maya Kaimal Naan Chips.
    BOTTOM PHOTO: Tandoori-cooked naan from
    Stonefire.

     

    A NEW KIND OF CHIP FROM MAYA KAIMAL

    The latest addition to our roster of chips are Naan Chips from Maya Kaimal Fine Indian Foods. Joining the company’s line of Chickpea Chips, they’re available nin Sea Salt, Rosemary and Almost Everything (onion, poppy and anise). You can find a store locator as well as e-tailers at MayaKaimal.com.

    One of the delectable family of Indian breads, naan (pronounced like the female name Nan) is a light, leavened bread, traditionally in a teardrop shape and cooked in a clay oven (see photo).

    The chips are baked in a proprietary flame-baked process meant to emulate a wood-fired tandoor oven. The process creates the signature blisters and bubbles of authentic naan flatbread (it took more than 40 tries to get it right).

    The toasty triangles are lighter and flakier than pita chips, and the seasonings are incorporated into the dough, not dusted on the surface.

    Enjoy them with guacamole, hummus or other dips; with cheese or soup; or simply crunch away.

     
    Maya Kaimal Naan Chips are Non-GMO Project Verified, certified kosher by OU, and vegan. for a suggested retail price of $3.49 to $3.99 per six ounce bag.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Make & Bring Sweet & Savory Nut Clusters

    Homemade Nut Clusters

    Sweet and savory nut clusters, with pumpkin
    seeds added for the holidays. Photo courtesy
    QVC.

     

    If you’ve been invited to Thanksgiving but not asked to contribute, you may still want to bring a gift that isn’t a bottle of wine.

    Something like these Sweet & Savory Nut Clusters from QVC’s chef David Venable can be a gift to the hosts be enjoyed later. Package them in a decorative tin or jar.

    Or, they can be served with after-dinner coffee by those who are too stuffed for pie.

    For any occasion, they can be served with a slice of Gorgonzola as the cheese course, or as a garnish for a green salad along with crumbled Gorgonzola.
     
    RECIPE: SWEET & SAVORY NUT CLUSTERS WITH
    GORGONZOLA

    Ingredients For 8-10 Servings

  • 1-1/2 cups raw pecan halves
  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • 1-1/2 cups raw walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Optional: Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
  • Optional: green salad with vinaigrette
  • Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

    2. TOSS the pecans, almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds with the beaten egg white in a large bowl, until coated.

    3. COMBINE the brown sugar, sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and rosemary in another bowl and toss with the nuts until evenly coated. Pour in the honey and fold until coated.

    4. SPREAD the mixture out on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until toasted. Serve as desired.

     
      

    Comments

    PRODUCT UPDATES

    blue-diamond-sriracha-230

    FSTG_bean-chips-generalmills-230

    TOP PHOTO: Almonds with a sriracha kick.
    Photo courtesy Blue Diamond. BOTTOM
    PHOTO: Bean & Tortilla Chips from Food
    Should Taste Good.

     

    Brands we enjoy and have previously reviewed are busy launching new lines. Here’s what we tasted lately.

    BLUE DIAMOND BOLD SRIRACHA ALMONDS

    Companies that have jumped on the “hot” bandwagon have figured out how to make products hot enough to please hotties, but not so hot that they loses sales from the other segments.

    These “bold” roasted almonds are delightful, and not as intense as the can indicates, or we would not have been able to eat them (medium salsa is the hottest we go).

    Consider them as stocking stuffers. Almonds are a healthful nut, so this is a guilt-free snack. The line is certified kosher by OK. More information.
     
    FOOD SHOULD TASTE GOOD BEAN CHIPS

    Our favorite line of tortilla chips, known for deftly combining other foods with corn-based tortilla chips, is now adding beans to the mix.

    Food Should Taste Good Black Bean Chips and Pinto Bean Chips combine nutritious, fiber-filled beans to deliver real bean flavors.

    Food Should Taste Good Bean Chips are gluten free, have zero grams trans-fat and are certified kosher by OU. More information.

    We must shout out to the line of tortilla chips in flavors galore. Beyond Cantina chips, there are Cheddar, Falafel, Guacamole, Harvest Pumpkin, Jalapeño, Jalapeño With Cheddar, Kettle Corn, Lime, Multigrain, Olive, Sweet Potato, The Works and White Cheddar.

    Love those chips!

     

     

    NASOYA CHIPOTLE BAKED TOFU

    Who says tofu isn’t flavorful? Nasoya, the country’s largest producer of tofu, has added a new flavor to its line of TofuBaked.

    Chipotle TofuBaked is ready to eat, sliced cold into salads or sandwiches, or heated for scrambles, omelets and Tex-Mex favorites (burritos, fajitas, tacos). Recipes on the website include Seven Layer Chipotle Dip, Southwest Breakfast Bake and Chipotle Tortilla Soup.

    We’re also fans of Ginger TofuBaked.

    The product is USDA certified organic and certified kosher by Star K.

    More information.
     
    POPCHIPS CRAZY HOT

    Quite hot, if not crazy hot, these chips are also quite tart, with as much vinegar as heat.

    In addition to red chili pepper flavor, there are hints of Cheddar cheese. We think it’s a winner for hot stuff lovers.

    The line is certified kosher by KOF-K and certified gluten free. More information.
     
    RUNA ICED TEA

    Runa Clean Energy has no sugar added iced teas, which, thanks to the guayusa from which the tea is brewed, has a natural sweetness as well.

    The line is certified kosher by OU, Fair Trade Certified and a Certified B Corporation.

    In 8.4-ounce/250 ml cans, flavors include Berry, Orange Passion and Original. More information.

     

    chipotle-tofu-nasoya-230

    popchips-crazy-hot copy-230

    TOP PHOTO: Spicy tofu, ready to eat from Nasoya. BOTTOM PHOTO: More hot stuff, this time in crunchy potato chips from Popchips .

     

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Fried Feta Cheese With Olives

    Fried Feta Cheese

    Warm, crispy cubes of feta cheese, with a
    side of spicy marinated olives. Photo courtesy
    Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

     

    We really enjoyed this dish last night, served with beer and hard cider. Four of us polished off the 18 pieces of cheese and the spicy olives in 10 minutes, and we look forward to making it again.

    The recipe was sent to us by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. Find many great cheese recipes at EatWisconsinCheese.com.

    FRIED FETA CHEESE WITH SPICY MARINATED OLIVES

    Ingredients For 18 Pieces
     
    For The Fried Feta

  • 1 8-ounce block feta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Grapeseed oil or canola oil, for frying
  • Sea salt
  •  
    For The Olives

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 cup mixed olives
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  •  
    Preparation

    1. HALVE the feta horizontally to create two 1/2-inch-thick blocks (or as many as can be cut from your piece). Cut each block roughly into 1-inch cubes to yield about 18 pieces total.

    2. WHISK the egg with the flour and water in shallow bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow, rimmed dish. Working with a few pieces at a time, dip the feta cubes in the egg mixture, coat with the breadcrumbs and place on a plate. Refrigerate while preparing the olives.

    3. HEAT the olive oil on low in a medium sauté pan. Add the garlic, orange zest and fennel. Sauté for 2 minutes, taking care not to the brown garlic. Add the olives and pepper flakes; toss to coat. Sauté for 1 minute. Transfer the olives to a serving bowl. Wipe the pan with a paper towel.

    4. REMOVE the feta from the refrigerator. Pour a thin layer of oil in the bottom of the same sauté pan and heat over medium until hot. Test by adding a few breadcrumbs to pan; they should sizzle. Gently place 8 to 10 feta cubes in the pan. When the cubes begin to brown, about 1 to 2 minutes, use a fork to turn each cube to brown the other side. Continue to cook 1 to 2 minutes.

    5. REMOVE the cubes with a spatula; place on a seving plate. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Repeat with the remaining feta cubes, adding additional oil if necessary. Serve immediately with the olives.

     

    WHAT IS FETA CHEESE

    Feta is Greece’s most famous cheese*, a pure white, aged curd cheese that crumbles easily. While the cheese has been made since antiquity, the modern name came into the Greek language in the 17th century, from the Italian word fetta, slice, referring to slicing the cheese from the brick.

    Authentic feta is a sheep’s milk cheese, or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milks. Outside of the European Union, where it is protected designation of origin (PDO) product, it can also be made of cow’s milk. The cheese is semi-hard, with a flavor that can range from mild and milky to salty with a very tangy acidity.
     
    *Here are other Greek cheeses.

     

    Feta & Olives

    Quality feta cheese is never over-salted. Photo courtesy Aragec.com.

     

    Authentic feta is formed into bricks and salted and cured in a brine solution. It is aged in wood barrels for 60 days, creating a creamy, tangy cheese with citric notes.

    Only 2% of the feta consumed in the U.S. actually comes from Greece. Much of it is saltier feta from Bulgaria and other countries. Some feta is simply too salty. You can soak oversalted pieces it in water or milk to remove some of the saltiness.

    Find more favorite types of cheese in our Cheese Glossary.
     
    WHAT TO DO WITH THE OLIVE PITS

    We don’t know what we’d do without our olive pit “ashtray.” It makes the ugly olive pits disappear. We got it at the Museum of Modern Art decades ago, and can’t find anything like it online.

    But we did find this one and this one, made from ceramic. It’s great gift for the olive lover who entertains.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Better For You Candy & Treats

    Every time we dip into a bag of Bare Fruit Apple Chips, we wonder: Why isn’t everyone eating these?

    So before Halloween, we’re recommending them as the better-for-you treat, for the people you love. Everyone else can get those miniature junk candies from the supermarket. (Sorry if we have maligned your favorite candy bars; but honestly, you hardly taste the chocolate for the sugar/corn syrup.)

    Consisting simply of baked apple chips—no added sugar—these sweet, crisp chips satisfy the desire for sweetness an crunch. They’re fat-free, gluten free, fiber-filled.

    The apple chips are made from non-GMO project verified Washington State apples. And they’re certified kosher by Earth Kosher, an organic and kosher certifier.

    There are four flavors of all-natural apple chips, 90-100 calories per ounce (half cup serving), depending on the flavor.:

  • Fuji Red Apple Chips
  • Granny Smith Apple Chips
  • Sea Salt Caramel Apple Chips
  • Simply Cinnamon Apple Chips
  •  
    There’s also an organic line, including each of the flavors above plus a combination of all of them in one bag, Medley Apple Chips.

    There’s also an organic line, including each of the flavors above plus a combination of all of them in one bag, Medley Apple Chip
    This time of year we particularly like Simply Cinnamon Apple Chips, but will gladly eat whatever is closest. Who needs apple pie when you can have Bare Fruit Apple Chips?

    But you may think that Caramel Apple is better for Halloween. Plan ahead for stocking stuffers, and keep a supply in your glove compartment, desk drawer, gym bag, etc.

       

    cinnamon-apple-chips-bare-230

    chips-lovewithfood-230

    TOP PHOTO: It’s like apple pie in a crunchy chip. Phot6o courtesy Bare Fruit. BOTTOM PHOTO: Out of the bag. Photo courtesy Love With Food.

     
    You can get Bare Fruit products on Amazon.com or find them at retail via the company’s store locator. The “BUY” tab on the company website takes you to their Amazon store.

    They’re available in individual .53-ounce bags and in 1.69-ounce bags, three portions’ worth.
      
    NUTS FOR CRUNCHY COCONUT CHIPS

    After success with the apple chips, Bare Fruit came out with a divine line of coconut chips:

  • Chocolate Bliss Coconut Chips
  • Sea Salt Caramel Coconut Chips
  • Simply Toasted Coconut Chips
  • Sweet ‘n Heat Coconut Chips
  •  
    Loved ‘em all, but Chocolate Bliss truly is.

    GO BANANAS
     
    Most recently, the company has introduced crunchy banana chips. We haven’t yet had the pleasure of trying them, but you can let us know how you like them:

  • Cinnamon Banana Chips
  • Cocoa Dusted Banana Chips
  • Simply Baked Banana Chips
  •  

    HalfPops

    These crunchy popcorn nuggets are popped without oil. Photo courtesy Halfpops.

     

    HALFPOPS POPCORN NUGGETS

    If you grew up loving CornNuts, as we did, take note of the non-fried, gourmet version.

    Some people dig through the popcorn bowl to find those crunchy, half-popped kernels that taste even better than the fully popped corn. Smaller than a fully popped kernel, they’ve got the soft popped portion on the inside while the kernel remains crunchy on the outside.

    Halfpops is an entire bag of them. We like this fiber-filled half-popped popcorn even better than the conventional full-popped. It was love at first bite for us. These little nuggets are a go-to snack whenever we need something crunchy and salty.

    These are healthy, whole grain snacks. They’re all-natural, with zero sugar or preservatives. As a whole grain product, each bag contributes 3g fiber/serving. Halfpops are certified gluten-free and are also nut-free.

     

    Halfpops are currently available in four flavors:

  • Natural Butter & Sea Salt
  • Aged White Cheddar
  • Caramel & Sea Salt
  • Chipotle Barbeque
  • Each one-ounce serving contains 130 calories and 260 mg salt. And we love each flavor Don’t decide: Try them all!

    They’re certified kosher (dairy) by OU. Get yours at HalfPops.com. There’s also a retail store locator on the website.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: 20 Uses For Pumpkin Seeds (And Other Winter Squash Seeds)

    If you’re carving a jack-o-lantern, you may elect to discard everything inside. Separating the pumpkin seeds (pepitas in Spanish) from the sticky fibers may seem more trouble than it’s worth.

    In our childhood, we could spend an hour meticulously separating those seeds from the jumbo pumpkin, just for the joy of making homemade pumpkin seeds (the ones from the store were so over-salted). As a busy working adult, we realized the value of time and bought unsalted pumpkin seeds to flavor at home.

    But you can separate the seeds while watching TV, or delegate the task to the kids. The recipe for homemade toasted pumpkin seeds is below. And, good news for squash lovers: The seeds from all other winter squash—acorn or butternut, for example—can also be used.

    PUMPKIN SEEDS FOR BREAKFAST

  • Bagels: Sprinkle on top of the cream cheese.
  • Cereal: Toss on cold or hot breakfast cereal, or blend into granola.
  • Garnish: Atop cottage cheese, French toast, pancakes, waffles, yogurt.
  •    

    pumpkin-seeds-roasted-shell-enlightenedcooking-230

    Raw pumpkin seeds, cleaned and ready for toasting. Photo courtesy EnlightenedCooking.com.

  • Muffins: Add to muffin batter (apple, corn, pumpkin or spice muffins), or sprinkle on a buttered muffin.
  • Pancakes: Add to pancake batter.
  •  
    PUMPKIN SEEDS FOR LUNCH

  • Garnish: Add to salad, soup, yogurt.
  • Sandwich: Sprinkle on a sandwich or wrap, add to grilled cheese.
  • Squash salad: Top a green salad with roasted squash and garnish with the seeds. For an entrée salad, add grilled chicken or other protein.
  •  
    PUMPKIN SEEDS FOR DINNER

  • Garnish: Top pasta, rice and other grains, roasted/grilled vegetables, salad, soup.
  • Goat cheese log: Roll a log of fresh goat cheese in the pumpkin seeds, or a seed/nut/fruit mix with pistachios or chopped pecans, and small dried fruit of choice (chopped dried cherries, cranberries, raisins). Serve on a cheese tray, or cut into rounds and serve with a green salad.
  • Mole Sauce: For beef, chicken, tacos. Here’s a recipe.
  • Pesto Sauce: Substitute pumpkin seeds for the pine nuts.
  •  
    PUMPKIN SEEDS FOR DESSERT & SNACKS

  • As is.
  • Brittle: See the recipe below.
  • Candied Pumpkin Seeds:. A lighter alternative to brittle. Coat the seeds with brown sugar and butter plus cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Add a dash of salt and roast at 250°F oven for 45 minutes. Cool completely before serving.
  • Dip. Garnish store-bought hummus with whole seeds, or pulse the seeds and mix in smaller pieces. You can do the same with bean dip, Greek yogurt dip, spinach dip, etc.
  • Garnish: cakes, cupcakes, fruit salad, ice cream, pudding.
  • Mix-ins: Add to brownies, carrot cake, fudge, popcorn (and popcorn balls!).
  • Pudding: Add along with raisins or dried cherries/cranberries in rice pudding, or use them as toppings.
  • Trail Mix Or Chex Mix: Mix with Chex or Rice Squares, dried blueberries, cherries and/or cranberries; nuts, raisins, sunflower seeds
  •  

     

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/roasted pumpkin seeds elise simplyrecipes 2301

    Pumpkin seeds, toasted and seasoned. Photo
    courtesy Emily | SimplyRecipes.com. See photos of the step-by-step process.

     

    RECIPE: HOMEMADE TOASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS

    Ingredients

  • Raw pumpkin seeds
  • Olive oil (substitute canola oil)
  • Salt or seasoned salt
  • Optional savory seasonings: cayenne, cumin, curry, garlic, Worcestershire sauce
  • Optional sweet seasonings: allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cinnamon sugar, vanilla sugar
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Place the pumpkin seeds and clinging fibers in a colander and rinse them under cold water. Remove the seeds and pick off the remaining fibrous strands. Wipe the seeds with a damp towel and let air-dry as needed.

    2. SAUTÉ the seeds in a bit of oil until they are lightly browned. Transfer to a baking sheet.

     
    3. SPRINKLE with salt and other spices as desired (err on the side of less spice rather than more). Bake about 10 minutes, until crisp. Drain on paper towels. After they cool, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month.
     
    RECIPE: PUMPKIN BRITTLE

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1/2 cup light-brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BUTTER an 11-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet; set aside.

    2. MELT the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and honey. Bring to a boil and cook about 6 minutes, without stirring, until the mixture is a medium amber color and a candy thermometer registers 280°F.

    3. STIR in the pumpkin seeds. Cook until the mixture reaches 300°F about 2 minutes. Pour onto the greased baking sheet. When completely cool, break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

    Adapted from Martha Stewart.

      

    Comments

    TRIVIA: For National Popcorn Month

    For National Popcorn Month, here’s some trivia from The Popcorn Factory, based on a survey conducted online by Toluna Quick Surveys:

  • Favorite Flavor: Caramel corn is favored 2:1 over the second most popular flavor, cheese. If you add in the Butter Almond Toffee flavor (caramel and almonds), its 3:1. Here are the stats: Caramel 19.82%, Cheese 9.91%, White Cheddar 9.91%, Butter Toffee Almond 8.27% and Butter 8.17%.
  • Pronunciation: 27% say caramel in three syllables—car-a-mel—while 44% pronounce it car-mel. Really, people? Look it up: it’s pronounced as it’s spelled: car-a-mel. Carmel is a city in Monterey County, California. Clint Eastwood was the mayor, 1986-1988.
  • Sharing: 76% like to share their popcorn, 24% like to snack alone.
  •  
    The favorite time to eat popcorn:

     

    Caramel Corn

    Caramel corn is the #1 flavor. Photo courtesy The Popcorn Factory.

  • While watching a movie, 65%
  • As an after-dinner snack, 11%
  • While relaxing or participating in a hobby, 6%
  • At a social event, 2%
  • As a special reward, 2%
  • With a meal, 1%
  • Other, 3%
  •  
    Check out the history of popcorn, an all-American snack. Air-popped without butter, it’s a low-calorie, high-fiber whole grain snack. You can add a bit of plain or flavored olive oil, and all the herbs and/or spices you like.

      

    Comments



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