One thing childcare know-it-alls are always saying that really drives me nuts:

Children need consistency

Apparently, little ones love routine. They ‘benefit from knowing what to expect from day to day.’ Consistency gives them ‘a sense of security,’ ‘reduces anxiety,’ and ‘promotes good behavior,’ yada-yada-yada…

No one ever mentions what consistency can do to a grown woman, especially when it involves your toddler doing (and asking) the same thing about 6,000 times in row.

Truth be told, I can hardly remember what I did yesterday, never mind repeat it on-the-regular. Plus (now that the details are coming back), I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to…and neither would Isla…  but that’s a story for another day.

Point is, though consistency is not my strong suit, I’ve decided to change my wiley ways and try something new. I’m going to consistently blog under the title

New(ish) Food Fridays

every Friday. Yup, same thing every Friday. Consistently. I’m going to do it in an effort to help inspire YOU to try something new, too… a new food, that is.

(See what I’m doing here: I try something new—consistency—and to help you try something new—new food. A little ironic, too, since I’m asking you to do something new, regularly. Consistently changin’ it up. Get it? Kinda blowing my own mind right now.)

Anyway, every Friday, I’m going to do my best to fill your heads with a new idea about food. A food that’s sometimes for little ones and sometimes just for YOU. (Like today—today’s food is not for toddlers unless it’s ground or crushed, like this).

And don’t think recipes. Gosh knows you can google up an awesome recipe for anything at a moment’s notice. You don’t need my help with that. I’m just gonna get you thinking about a new food. A simple food, naked, and interesting. Yes, I said

 Naked and interesting

Cause whole foods, real foods, can be naked (and sexy) and interesting. And eating a variety of foods consistently is good for you. In fact, epidemiological research from Harvard even goes as far as to suggest that eating a variety of healthy foods helps women live longer.  (Specifically, they say that it’s more important to increase the variety of healthy foods that you eat than to reduce the number of unhealthy foods you eat if you want increase your longevity. So there.)

You see, I’m inspiring you to eat new foods to help you live longer (and healthier, because no one wants to get old unless they’re lookin’ and feelin’ real young.) Even if your goals aren’t as long-term as making sure you see the year 2060, then at the very least, New(ish) Food Fridays will give you something to look forward to—something to make food shopping more a little more interesting….

Take this pumpkin here.

pumpkin stem

Cute pumpkin harboring a tasty little secret…

 

Did you know its tummy contains a crunchy little snack? Yes, and I was determined to get it out, roast it up, and eat it.

So, while a toddler, a preteen, and a middle-aged man were making a mess of our living room, wheeling around knives whilst carving up masterpieces, I was ignoring the chaos and busying myself in the kitchen with the pumpkin’s innards. I was separating the stringy orange mess from the white shiny seeds. Once I got them out, I put them in a colander and rinsed them off with water. I had myself a bowl of pumpkin seeds!

Yum. Pumpkin seeds make a great snack. All plant foods are healthy—and seeds, especially so, since they’re loaded all sorts of plant chemicals, called phytonutrients, which protect us against cancer and a host of other diseases in new ways that are being discovered everyday. (Ways that scientists admit they don’t even fully understand yet.) And pumpkin seeds can be tasty since you can season them with just about anything. As far as the nutrient deets: One ounce of pumpkin seeds has about 125 calories, 5 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber (which is a lot, by the way).

In other words, pumpkin seeds are a good, seasonal alternative to salty chips (if you have a habit of snacking on that kind of thing, like most of us do.) Here’s how you make them….

roasted pumpkin seeds

Little ladies roasted…

Check me out. I spread my seeds, which were numerous since they came from three different pumpkins, on a cookie sheet (sprayed with canola oil) and then dried them in the oven at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes. When I took them out, I split the lot of them into two bowls. In one, I drizzled olive oil and sprinkled sea salt. In the other, I put a few pats of organic butter and some brown sugar. I mixed ‘em around, then spread each batch out on the cookie sheets once again too roast for another 15 minutes.

Voila! Guilt-free salt fix

I had no idea what I was doing, by the way. I just winged it. Pretty tough to mess up. However, if you want a real fancy, professional-like recipe, check out this roasting advice—she’s, like, got it all figure out. (And they are addictive BTW. I had to put the little bowl back in the kitchen in order to keep my fingers on this keyboard.)

You can also make it super duper easy on yourself (which is what I normally do, when it’s not pumpkin carvin’ time) and BUY these little gems.

pepita seeds

Pepitas!

I keep ‘em in my refrigerator and toss them onto salads whenever I’m trying to impress someone. They add crunch, GOOD NUTRITION, and a bit of sophistication to what can sometimes be the snoozer part of a meal.

(I keep seeds and nuts, ALL seeds and nuts, in the refrigerator, BTW. They have a high fat content, which meals they can go rancid quickly and are best preserved by being stored in cold, dark spots.)

Tell me, are you gonna try them? Are EATING THEM already? Better ideas for seasoning? Talk to me…