For this second instalment of the ‘Snack Series’, we go for something a little sweet and a touch salty, packed with nutrients and, drumroll please … draped with rich dark chocolate!
Pepitas are gaining ground as a hip new health food. But their name can have some wondering what these little green gems are. Simply put, they are pumpkin seeds. They are a staple in Mexican cuisine, an essential part of sauces, stews and snacks, but we in North America usually only have them as a treat gleaned in a post-pumpkin carving endeavour. Some of our fondest childhood memories of Halloween are probably not only carving pumpkins, but also the salty roasted snack that follows, still warm from the oven.
Pepitas are not only delicious – they are also little powerhouses of nutrition. Packed with protein, fibre, and a slew of nutrients including niacin, magnesium, manganese and zinc, they are sure to combat any energy dip.
Traditionally, pepitas are served roasted and salted, perhaps with a bit of spice. Here the deep flavour profile of bittersweet chocolate is met by the inherent earthiness of the pepita making it a robust and decadent nibble for any time of the day.
Try them on their own, tossed in yogurt, as part of a granola, or strewn over oatmeal.
1 cup of pepitas (raw shelled pumpkin seeds)
½ teaspoon of coarse sea salt, divided
¼ teaspoon of grapeseed oil, or other mildly flavoured oil
3 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 350F
Toss pepitas in the oil and arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet
Roast for 10 minutes, tossing half way through
Remove from oven and allow to cool
Chop the chocolate into small chip sized pieces
Fill a small saucepan with about 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer
Place a glass bowl over the pot (make sure it fits snugly) and add the chopped chocolate to the bowl and stir with a rubber spatula while the chocolate is melting
Once the chocolate is fully melted use the spatula to drizzle the chocolate on to the pepitas and sprinkle with the remaining salt
Allow the chocolate to cool completely