Maple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Maple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

These Maple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds {made with coconut oil and cinnamon} are pretty addicting.

I’ve been eating a handful every time I walk through the kitchen.

And cooking them?  Oh, my.  The coconut oil… the maple syrup… the cinnamon….  The kitchen smelled AMAZING.

If you prefer something more savory, be sure to check out my Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

But – either way – you need to try these.  I’m seriously considering buying a trunkful of pumpkins to carve just so I can roast some more seeds.

Maple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Anyway, the process starts off with cleaning the seeds.  Getting rid of all the pumpkiny pulp.

I do this by putting some water in the bowl with the pulp and seeds and squeezing out the seeds through my fingers, but if there’s a different method you prefer, please share it in the comments!

Now you’ll either dry your seeds and roast them right away or let them soak overnight.

Soaking them has something to do with removing the phytic acid to allow you to absorb more of the gazillion nutrients in the pumpkin seeds.  But mostly, I don’t feel like roasting them as soon as I’ve finished carving and am busy trying to scrub orange goo off my hands and clothes.

So I let them soak overnight.

I MAY have let them soak for 48 hours… possibly.  I mean, it’s not like I let myself get distracted by my toddler and preschooler or anything… but – just so you know:  if you soak them for a couple of nights {whether for convenience or because you accidentally passed out at 8p.m. next to your kid’s bed and woke up in a puddle of drool waaaaaay too late to be bothered by checking on your pumpkin seeds}, you should be fine.

Maple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

After cleaning and/or soaking the seeds, dry them off on a cloth towel.

Then measure them out to make sure you have approximately a cup and a half.  But if you’re a little off, don’t worry about it.  Just add a little more or less of the other ingredients.

And for reference, I got my seeds out of this guy right here:

Our Jack O' Lantern

I’m a sucker for the traditional look.  :)

Back to the seeds:  mix all of the ingredients really well in a bowl.  You want to make sure all of the seeds are coated.

If your coconut oil is solid, melt it on the stove and allow it to cool slightly before using.  My extra virgin coconut oil is stored in my pantry and I live in Florida.  It never completely solidifies.  And I use to extra virgin for this because I like the smell and taste of it, but any coconut oil will work.

Maple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Then spread them out on a large baking sheet, getting as flat a layer as possible.

Stir them every 10 to 15 minutes while baking, always making sure that you spread them out as much as possible each time.  It can make it easier to do this if you use two spatulas/spoon instead of one.

After baking, let them cool on the pan, then put them in a bowl to serve or a covered container to store.

I can’t stop eating the darned things, so I can’t say for certain how long they’ll last.  :)

Maple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Maple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

After removing the seeds from your pumpkin, separate the pulp from the seeds.

Once the seeds are cleaned, cover them with water and let them sit overnight. (This step is optional.)

Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C). Drain the water from the pumpkin seeds (if you soaked them overnight) and dry them on a cloth towel.

In a bowl, mix the seeds with the coconut oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon. If your coconut oil is not in a liquid or mostly-liquid state, melt it on the stove and allow it to cool slightly before using. Mix well so the seeds are evenly covered.

Spread the pumpkin seeds on a large baking sheet with as few touching as possible. Bake for one hour, stirring every 10 or 15 minutes.

Let cool and store covered.

[Note: the ingredient measurements can be adjusted up or down depending on how many seeds your pumpkin contains.]

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Click here to print the free PDF version of the recipe:  Maple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

And here are some of the ingredients I used:

Coconut Oil Organic Maple Syrup

Enjoy!

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Perfectly Popped Popcorn {with coconut oil}

Perfectly Popped Popcorn with Coconut Oil

This is some pretty amazing stuff right here.

I make a lot of popcorn … I MAY have mentioned once or twice my Garlic Infused Parmesan Popcorn … but sometimes it’s nice to enjoy just the butter and the salt of traditional movie theatre popcorn – but without all the gross chemicals and additives.

Perfectly Popped Popcorn with Coconut Oil and Himalayan Salt

This recipe was my solution to that.

And it’s AMAZING.

Now, part of that is because of the virgin coconut oil.  If you don’t use virgin, then you won’t get the coconut taste.  Maybe that’s what you want.  But it’s not what I wanted.

The subtle tropical flavor suits the puffed kernels so perfectly.

And the Himalayan salt tastes pretty amazing all on its own anyway.

Plus, I buy my popcorn kernels in bulk at my local health food store.  I like this popcorn for two reasons:  it’s organic and it pops light and fluffy every time.

Oh – and yet another benefit:  the combination of the popcorn and the virgin coconut oil will make your kitchen smell incredible.

Seriously.

Perfectly Popped Popcorn

Okay, to make the popcorn, start with a large pan with deep sides, or a pot.

Melt the coconut oil over medium heat, then toss in 3 kernels of popcorn.  Cover.  When you hear the 3 kernels pop, add in the rest.

Perfectly Popped Popcorn

When you add in the rest of the popcorn, quickly shake a pinch of salt over them, then cover.

Shake the pan now and then to make sure all the kernels cook evenly.  Even tilt it from side to side.  Just hold the cover on while shaking.

Perfectly Popped Popcorn

Once the popcorn is done, put it into a “giant” paper lunch bag (mine are approx. 11 x 6 x 4 inches and I found them at Walmart).  Or, use a small paper grocery bag.  You could try using a regular paper lunch bag, but that won’t allow the popcorn as much movement when shaking.

Drizzle the melted butter over it and add a few more pinches of Himalayan salt.

Fold over the top of the bag and shake vigorously until you’re quite certain that all of the popcorn is covered with the toppings.

Some of the melted butter will start to soak through the bag.  That’s okay.

And remember, you can always add more salt if there’s not enough for your taste, but you can NOT take it away.  Better to add too little than too much.  Himalayan salt is really strong and you don’t need a lot of it.

Perfectly Popped Popcorn

Then pour it into a bowl and enjoy!

It’s hard to beat fresh, incredible food that takes only a few minutes.  And the taste … *drools*

Perfectly Popped Popcorn {with coconut oil}

Ingredients:

1/4 cup virgin or extra virgin coconut oil
1/3 cup organic popcorn kernels
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Himalayan salt, to taste

Melt the coconut oil over medium heat in a large pan with high sides.

Once melted, add 3 popcorn kernels and cover. When the 3 kernels pop, add the rest of the kernels, spreading evenly over the bottom of the pan. Quickly sprinkle a pinch of salt over the kernels and cover.

While continuing to cook over medium heat, occasionally shake the pan (making sure the cover is secure). It should take only a few minutes for all the kernels to pop.

When the popping has slowed and there are a few seconds between popping sounds, remove the pan from the heat and carefully shake it once more to make sure there are no more unpopped kernels floating around inside.

Transfer the popped popcorn to a large paper lunch bag (or a small paper grocery bag). Drizzle the melted butter over it and then shake a few more pinches of salt into the bag. Fold over the top of the bag and shake vigorously to cover all of the popcorn with the toppings.

Pour into a bowl and enjoy!

[Note: the virgin coconut oil is what gives this recipe its unique taste, but you can still use regular coconut oil if you prefer.]

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Click here to print the free PDF version of the recipe:  Perfectly Popped Popcorn with coconut oil

Enjoy!

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Homemade Bread Recipe

Homemade Bread Recipe

I love homemade bread.

The smell of the yeast, the feel of the dough in my hands, the baking aroma that floats out of the oven and through the entire house…

Dreamy.  Delicious.  Why don’t I do this more often?

Anyway, I finally decided it had been too long since I’d made bread from scratch, but this time, I made a few changes.

This is based off of a basic Amish recipe for bread that’s slightly sweet and a little dense, but this time I made it with coconut oil.  The end result in appearance, texture, and taste was the same as if I’d made it with vegetable oil, so I’m thrilled.

However, extra virgin coconut oil may add a coconut taste to the bread – but I’ve never used extra virgin for baking, so I’m not really sure.

I also used Organic Natural Cane Sugar, but one with the texture of regular granulated sugar, unlike the consistency of Demerara or Sucanat, which I sometimes put in my coffee.  This way, the weight of the sugar didn’t need to be adjusted for the recipe.  Makes my life easier.  :) 

Homemade Bread Recipe

Anywho, you can see some of the products I mentioned in this photo.  And the only yeast I had on hand was those little packets, instead of the larger jar, so I had to use about one and a half of them, which irked me a little.  The jar is back on my shopping list.

Homemade Bread Recipe

Yeast is one of my favorite smells in the whole world.  I love proofing it.

Here are some tips I’ve picked up over time:  get warm water from the sink because the microwave is tricky and water that’s too hot will kill your yeast, and add sugar to the warm water first, to give the yeast something to get really excited about.

In other words, the first thing you’ll do in this recipe (or any yeast dough) is add some warm water to a measuring cup.  (Forgive me for not photographing this step.)  Run the water from your sink until it is just barely painful to touch, then fill your measuring cup to whatever your recipe calls for.  You can test it with a candy thermometer.  It should be between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Put this pre-measured water into the large bowl in which you will create your dough.  Stir in a tablespoon or two of the total amount of sugar from the recipe – don’t add sugar to what’s called for, just use part or all of what you already would to make your dough.  Then add the yeast, sprinkling it over the top of the warm sugar water.  You don’t need to stir it in, but sometimes I do.  Leave it alone for 5 to 10 minutes and you’ll know it’s ready when the top is nicely covered in a frothy, foamy layer of soft, strong-scented yeastiness.  (That’s a word, right??  It should be.)

At this point, you’re ready to make the dough.  For this particular recipe, this would be when you add in the salt and coconut oil.  You need a liquid coconut oil for this, so I find it easiest to stick the solid oil in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt it.  Then you’ll mix in the flour.  I start this with a spoon, but usually end of finishing it with my hands (above photo), and then knead it on a floured surface.

Homemade Bread Recipe

Grease your bowl by rubbing a bit of the coconut oil inside of it, and put your kneaded dough back into the bowl.  Cover lightly with a kitchen towel and let it rise for an hour.

It will double in size.  Punch (yes, punch) it down, knead it for a minute again, and then separate it into two halves.  Coat two bread loaf pans with the coconut oil and place loaf-shaped dough into the pans.  I formed the loaf by tucking the dough under itself to create a smooth top.

Homemade Bread Recipe

Let the dough rise one more time, until approximately doubled in size or risen to about an inch over the top of the pan.  This will take between 30 to 60 minutes.

Bake until browned on top.  I prefer mine lightly browned, but you could bake it an extra few minutes for a darker brown – just watch the bread so it doesn’t burn.

Allow the bread to cool in the pans on a cooling rack for awhile.  About a half hour.  Then remove the bread from the pans and allow it to finish cooling on the rack. Keep your bread wrapped in a bread bag or tin foil.

Whatever you’re not planning to eat in the next 2 or 3 days can be easily frozen.  You can slice the bread and freeze it that way, too.

Cinnamon Toast made with Homemade Bread Recipe

I also enjoy making cinnamon toast with the bread (pictured above).  My mom often made this for me when I was growing up, and it’s still one of my favorite dishes.  To make it:  slice a piece of bread that will fit in your toaster.  Toast to a light brown and spread with butter immediately so the butter will be very soft and mostly melted.  Sprinkle with a cinnamon and sugar mixture immediately so that the sugar will absorb into the butter.  Enjoy!

Okay, here’s the good stuff:

Homemade Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups warm water (110 F or 45 C)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 liquid coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
6 cups bread flour

In a large bowl, stir the sugar into the warm water.  Pour the yeast over the water and mix it in, if desired.  Let sit for 10 minutes until yeast develops a thick foam.

Add the salt and oil to the yeast.  Mix in the flour one cup at a time.  Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes, until smooth.  Place dough in a bowl coated with oil, cover with a towel, and allow to rise for one hour.

Punch dough down, then knead for a few minutes.  Divide dough in half.  Form dough into loaf shapes and place in two oiled loaf pans, about 9 by 5 inches each.  Let the dough rise for 30 minutes or until about an inch over the tops of the pans.

Bake at 350 F or 175 C for 30 minutes.

(Note:  I used solid coconut oil to grease the bowl and loaf pans by rubbing on a couple tablespoons with my fingers.)

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And now for the FREE printable PDF:  Homemade Bread

Next up will be the awesome Tropical Almond French Toast that I made with my homemade bread:  yum!  :)

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