This is so easy to make that it doesn’t really deserve to be called a recipe, but these seeds are very tasty and can turn a plain dish into something special.
I was first introduced to this method of toasting seeds with soy sauce in my teens, when I was living in a commune in Northern New South Wales. There were many pros and cons associated with that time of my life, which is not surprising seeing as I was young and trying to define myself, but being introduced to new foods was definitely one of the major pluses. A lot of those foods are available in supermarkets now, but in rural Australia in the early nineties, you still had to go to a health food store to get things like tempeh, fresh sprouts, and dried grains, pulses and seeds.
Toasted seeds are great in salads or on soup, and just to eat by the handful. They are an easy way to add some protein and salty flavour to a vegetable dish. These days you can find them ready made in some stores, but I prefer to make my own because it’s just so easy, and I like eating them when they’re still warm.
1 cup of dried pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 a cup of sunflower seeds
1 tbsp tamari (Japanese style soy sauce)
Dash of chili or other seasoning (herbs, salt, pepper, etc.)*
Heat a heavy frying pan or skillet until a drop of water sizzles and evaporates in seconds, turn pan down a little, and toss in all the seeds. Shake or stir occasionally, to stop the seeds on the bottom cooking too quickly. The pepitas will swell up and make little popping sounds. When most of the pepitas have popped, and the sunflowers are browned, turn off the heat and splash in the tamari and seasonings. Stir constantly so that all the seeds get covered. Don’t worry if some of the tamari burns on the bottom of the pan.
Transfer seeds to a serving dish. The seeds will form sticky clumps, but if you stir them a little after taking them off the heat, they will separate again. If you are planning to snack on them, some clumping can be nice.
Calories: 1 cup of mixed seeds = about 550 calories, most of which come from fats and oils. So use sparingly, or combine with fresh vegetables for a balanced meal.
*I used Harissa spices in the dish pictured