White Cheddar Pumpkin Seeds (Vegan and GF)
White Cheddar Pumpkin Seeds are both vegan and gluten-free. These seeds are delicious and addictive. Try flavored – don’t get bored with the gourd.
In high school, I was obsessed with a brand of white cheddar popcorn. Let’s call it “Intelligent Sustenance” 😉 I could eat a bag in a sitting and it never bothered me because well, it was healthy. Said so right on the black bag.
As I began to learn more about what constitutes real food, I stumbled across a book in an airport bookstore. I was traveling from Philly back to Los Angeles for work and had read my other books on the flight out. I quickly grabbed one that looked like I could finish it on the five-hour flight. And I also need a book that looked semi-intelligent and impressive. For you see, my miles had gotten me upgraded to first class, and I would be flying back with some of the partners from the firm. I didn’t think I could pass off an US Weekly shoved into an Economist for the whole flight. “Corporate Recruiters, They’re Just Like Us”!
The book I grabbed ended up being Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. At the time, I didn’t know he had already published the Omnivore’s Dilemma and that people were going ape shit over it. After devouring In Defense of Food, I read the Omnivore’s Dilemma from the Los Angeles Public Library. Fun fact: I wasn’t familiar with their reservation system, and somehow accidentally requested the large print version. The book weighed 500 pounds because there were pretty much only 15 words on each page. On the plus side, I felt like I was reading it really quickly.
Anyhoo, In Defense of Food led to the book Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet, which also inspired me to make some changes in my life and my diet. Finding solutions for my favorite snack foods like white cheddar popcorn and chili cheese Fritos proved to be tough. Eventually, I discovered that nutritional yeast had a cheesy flavor that reminded me of that white cheddar goodness. When I found out a lot of vegans used it for flavoring, I was intrigued. When I first heard it referred to as “nooch”, I laughed. Because you know…nooch rhymes with gooch. And I’m 12.
A few years ago, our chickens accidentally planted pumpkins all around my garden. I had given them a mushy pie pumpkin the year before to snack on, and the seeds got mixed in with the compost I hauled out from their run. It was a fun surprise to find pumpkins growing everywhere the next year. I even tried my hand at canning pumpkin that fall. (Take a look at those stellar photos :).) With so many pumpkins, I started to experiment with different flavorings to make the seeds into yummy real food snacks. White Cheddar Pumpkin Seeds is a result of one of those experiments.
These little healthy flavor bombs are an awesome snack. White Cheddar Pumpkin seeds use only real food ingredients and will remind you of all the white cheddar processed food you have consumed in your life. And in my case, that is a lot of white cheddar powder! Even better, nutritional yeast is loaded with vitamin B, protein, fiber, and folic acid. It is a very delicious and healthy addition to most diets.
And don’t forget, you practically get to call it “gooch”. So there’s that.
Making this recipe or others?
White Cheddar Pumpkin Seeds are both vegan and gluten-free. These seeds are delicious and addictive. Try flavored - don't get bored with the gourd.
Place a cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat to 300 degrees. No cast iron skillet? Simply use a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment.
In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and toss to combine. Pour the pumpkin seeds in the hot skillet.
Stir every 10 minutes until toasty, about 30 minutes total.
Allow to cool completely, and then transfer to an air-tight container. Store at room temperature.
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