I’ve been on a cooking spree again recently as I focus on minimising dairy and wheat in the diet. This is difficult because I love them both dearly, so I have to work hard to find interesting and exciting foods to substitute them for, otherwise I feel like I’m missing out and then it gets miserable.
First up is a sweet/savoury snack that is so easy to make and tastes delicious. It’s got sugar in it so it’s not that healthy, but it’s vegan, and gluten free so has that going for it, and on a Friday film night I can trough through the whole lot without a care. I’m actually eating a pile of it now while typing and oh my! It’s so delicious.
Sticky sweet & savoury nuts & seeds
¼ cup bashed walnut halves
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
1 tblsp cumin seeds (optional but my favourite bit!)
2 tblsp sugar (soft brown or muscavado or white will also do)
2 tblsp carob syrup (or honey, syrup, agave, or even just more sugar if you’re short)
¼ tsp salt
The trick with this is not to toast all the nuts and seeds at once. Because they’re different sizes they’ll toast at different times. Start with walnuts in a hot, dry frying pan. Shuffle them around until they start to colour (but not burn!), usually a few mins. Turn the heat to med/low then add sunflower and pumpkin seeds and shuffle until they also colour, and a few of them pop. Finally add the sesame and cumin seeds. These won’t take long to heat at all. Just wait until they start popping and you can smell the cumin. Then add the sugar, carob syrup and salt. Make sure the heat is still low. This bit is slightly tricky because you need to warm everything up enough so that the sugar melts (you don’t want sugar crystals) but also you don’t want to burn it. Take your time, don’t stir too much, but also move it a bit around the pan, if you get the slightest wiff of burning or sharpness take it off the heat immediately – it goes bitter when burned I’ve learned from experience.
It should only take a few minutes anyway. Then spoon onto a large plate and spread out to cool. There is the temptation to eat it warm, and it is nice warm, but if you can wait until it’s cooled and gone crunchy, you’ll realise it’s worth the wait. Once it’s cool break it into bite-sized pieces. Eat. Yum.