Spicy Toasted Pepitas; my version of pumpkin spice

Now that it is officially autumn much of American fodder has turned to all things pumpkin spice; lattes, candles, candy… there is no shortage of the stuff. As it turns out, most things in the pumpkin spice world are light on the spice, extra light on the pumpkin (so much so it’s basically non-existent), and heavy on the sugar, corn syrup and all things sweet. This recipe is the more literal version of the trend: actual pumpkin and actual spice.

Really, this recipe should have a subheading that reads; how to make your house smell like New Mexico, because mine now does. Spicy, smoky and earthy with hints of chile and cumin… I can honestly say I would make this recipe for the nostalgic potpourri after effects alone. Bonus effects: these things are delicious, easy to make, healthy and fairly versatile. Add them to your avocado toast, top off your applesauce with a kick, add some texture to your baked butternut squash or a sweet potato, sprinkle them over Sunshine Soup or Carrot Hummus or you could even add them on top of a grilled piece of fish or chicken. Alternatively have them whilst standing in your kitchen, basking in the warmth of the oven and smell of the spices… which I just did by the handful.


Confession: though there is definitely a line as to what is too burnt to eat, I come very close to crossing it. I like a little bit of charred flavour so tend to let these go quite dark… if that’s not your style just make sure you keep a close eye when toasting these.


Spiced Pepitas

250g or 1 cup pumpkin seeds

100g or 1 cup sunflower seeds

1 tsp. Maldon salt

Spice Mix

2 tsp. garlic salt

2 tsp. Mexican oregano

2 tsp. smoked paprika

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. Mexican smoked chilli paste (I used Gran Luchito)

4 tsp. coconut sugar

6 tsp. vegetable oil

Begin by combining all of the spice mix ingredients, stirring until a smooth paste is formed. In a medium sized bowl add in your seeds, then pour over your spice paste and combine with a spoon or your hands to evenly distribute and coat your seeds.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F. Spread the coated seeds out onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with Maldon salt. Bake for 8-10 minutes, stir and spread out once again, then toast for a following 8-10 minutes. Keep a good eye so as not to burn too much (I like the flavour when they are ever so slightly burnt, but I can’t assume everyone does).  Cool slightly before serving with a cold beer or any of the suggestions above.



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Eat. Drink. Wander. Think. Write.

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