Well, my friends, the ride is over. I amazingly made it to the Top 24 of the food competition Project Food Blog, but Challenge #8 of 10 was the last one for me.
My goal for the competition was to challenge myself in improving my blog and posts, which was a success. I've gained not only new readers, but friends.
I am overwhelmed with all the positive responses I have received over these past few months as people from all over supported me and cheered me on. I actually would run into people around town and discovered they not only read my blog, but were secretly voting for me as well. The belief you all had in me is very touching, and I will never forget your kindness. I am well aware I only made it as far as I did because of your support and votes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I am sad to no longer be in the competition, but my original goal was to at least reach Round 6, which I happily exceeded. I am thankful to everyone at Foodbuzz and the judges for hosting and believing in my blog as well. This experience has been a positive one and a fantastic way to start my blog's second year.
I will be joining the other Top 24 contestants and posting my #9 challenge, You're the Critic (Restaurant Review), as a tribute to the contest and for my gratitude to my readers, so please check back on Sunday evening for that post. I also have an announcement on December 15th regarding the blog, so remember to visit then as well.
My 'thank you' recipe is a simple one, again using pumpkin. Just like with animals, it's important to use the whole fruit or vegetable as well.
Pumpkin seeds are not only delicious, but packed with nutrition. And pumpkin seeds are unique since they also have several trace minerals like iron, manganese, and zinc. The seeds, though, are also full of phytic acid, which is a major anti-nutrient that prevents the absorption of the beneficial nutrients. This negativity is mitigated simply by soaking the seeds before roasting.
Roasted pumpkin seeds taste like toasted granola, which can be either savory or sweet depending on your desired toppings. I like my foods sweet, so I'm sharing a Sugar & Spice mixture; however, let your imagination run wild and top them with whatever you desire. I like having a bag on hand when I go hiking or to snack on during long car rides. Plus they have a wonderful aroma that fills the car with a homemade baked good smell. So make sure to rescue the seeds from the gooey pumpkin center and savor their goodness for yourself.
Sugar & Spice Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
seeds from 2 small sugar pumpkins (approximately 1 cup)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, with The Mother
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup turbinado
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp clove
Once you have your pumpkin seeds, the first step is to separate them from the pumpkin guts. I like to sit down in front of the TV and take my time popping them out so it doesn't feel like a chore, plus the time goes by faster.
I pop them between my thumb and fingers to remove nearly all the pumpkin guts. If the seeds are still dirty, rinse them off before moving on to the soaking stage.
In a medium bowl, add the pumpkin seeds and cover with filtered water and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar. Cover with plastic wrap touching the seeds and allow to soak for 24 hours.
After the soak, towel dry the seeds and preheat your oven to 450*F.
Place the seeds in a medium bowl and add the turbinado and spices. Toss until all seeds are well coated.
Layer on a baking sheet and roast for 8-10 min. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before enjoying. Store in an air tight container for a few days.
~Yields 1 cup.
~Original by Brie.