Posts Tagged ‘spices’

Tasty Tuesday: Roasting Seeds and Nuts

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

A Mom’s Milk Boutique Top Fan recently asked me what method I use for roasting seeds. This Top Fan has a little girl with various allergies which requires her to carefully read ALL food labels as well as make many foods at home from scratch. She thought her daughter might enjoy snacking on sunflower seeds and was wondering how to roast them herself. It’s actually quite simple and I am happy to share the method I prefer.

There are a few methods, although as usual I opt for the quickest and easiest route. I am in my kitchen A LOT and like to expedite the food prep process when/where I can. Plus any time I can get away with doing something on the stove top versus in the oven makes this Arizona home cooler and therefore happier! 🙂

First a few quick notes on seeds and nuts:

I buy all my seeds and nuts raw. Raw works best for many of the ways I use seeds and nuts. However for snacking, roasted seeds or nuts definitely have more flavor as well as an extra crunch to them. Rather than purchase both raw and roasted, it’s easier (and generally cheaper) if I just buy all raw and roast them as desired. Additionally I buy all seeds and nuts pre-shelled, because it’s a ton of work (and a bit of a mess) to shell them yourself in large quantities. The only exception is pistachios. The pre-shelled ones are outrageously expensive. Plus they are easy enough to shell and are consumed primarily in small snack-sized quantities.

If I am roasting seeds or nuts to add to a salad or other type of dish, I just do a quick dry roasting on the stove top. I simply heat a pan on medium heat, pour the desired amount of nuts/seeds in, and shake them around the pan for a few minutes. I don’t use any oil, salt, or other spices. You have to watch them super carefully because they seemingly go from being perfectly roasted to burnt in a matter of seconds.

If we are going to snack on the seeds/nuts, I like to roast them in oil and salt on the stove. I cover the bottom of the pan with a very small amount of oil. Really any oil will work, so just use what ever your family prefers. We prefer olive oil or coconut oil. Heat the oil on medium. When oil is heated, add the desired amount of seeds/nuts. You want them to be about single layer in the pan. Shake them around from time to time while roasting. They will only take about 5 minutes so be sure to watch them carefully and shake often. They burn very quickly so avoid walking away from the stove or getting distracted (yeah, easier said than done when you have kids, right?). Remove seeds/nuts from pan and allow to cool completely before enjoying.

That’s it! I love it when a healthy snack is that easy and quick to prepare. You can even mix roasted nuts and seeds with some dried fruit for a healthy homemade trail mix. Or you can get super creative with flavors by experimenting with spices. For example these spicy pecans are sweet with a nice little kick to them!