Pumpkin Crunch

Pumpkin crunch is a sweetly spiced upgrade to trail mix. Pumpkin seeds and cranberries are tossed with maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and a pinch of salt. Once cooled, grab a handful and toss it in your mouth. A perfect snack.

Pumpkin crunch in a glass bowl beside a glass bowl of mixed nuts and cranberries.

A favorite of Canyon Ranch guests. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of healthy mono- and poly-unsaturated oils besides being a good source of fiber, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.–Scott Uehlein

CAN I CUSTOMIZE TRAIL MIX?

The ingredients for pumpkin crunch are easily customizable if you just want to substitute or add something else. Raisins, tart dried cherries, or dried blueberries are super easy swaps for cranberries.

If you’re adding nuts without taking out anything, you’ll either need to reduce the number of pumpkin seeds and cranberries or increase how much maple syrup mixture you make. For an extra cup of nuts, you can double the amount of spiced syrup–you’ll have a little syrup leftover but not much.

Pumpkin Crunch

Pumpkin crunch in a glass bowl beside a glass bowl of mixed nuts and cranberries.
Use this quick-to-make trail mix as a breakfast cereal, or eat out of hand or top your yogurt with it. This is a huge favorite at Canyon Ranch—the combination of pumpkin seeds and cranberries makes an excellent snack.
Scott Uehlein

Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr 5 mins
Total 1 hr 15 mins
Snacks
American
10 servings
99 kcal
5 / 2 votes
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Ingredients 

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups dried cranberries

Directions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with canola oil.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the pumpkin seeds with the canola oil until coated. Spread the pumpkin seeds on the baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes or until almost dry.
  • Meanwhile, combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt in a small bowl.
  • Dump the warm roasted pumpkin seeds back into the bowl, add the maple syrup, and toss until well coated. Add the spices and salt, and toss to evenly coat. Return the pumpkin seeds mixture to the baking sheet and return the baking sheet to the oven. Roast the seeds, stirring occasionally and rotating the sheet several times to assure even roasting, for 15 minutes, or until dry. Check them often as they burn easily.
  • Dump the pumpkin seeds to a plate or a clean baking sheet and let cool completely, about 30 minutes. (You can keep the roasted spiced pumpkin seeds in a resealable plastic bag for up to several days.)
  • Just before serving, combine the pumpkin seeds with the dried cranberries in a mason jar with a screw lid or your prettiest serving dish.
Print RecipeBuy the Canyon Ranch Nourish cookbook

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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 99kcal (5%)Carbohydrates: 16g (5%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 4g (6%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 118mg (5%)Potassium: 70mg (2%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 14g (16%)Vitamin A: 2IUVitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 10mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I’ve always liked pumpkin seeds and I make a special effort to toast some each fall during pumpkin season. This recipe comes together very quickly and I can imagine changing up the spices as well as the dried fruit. I’m not sure I liked the spice mix exactly as-is and would probably alter it the next time (going more heavily toward cinnamon).

You could use up to 1 1/2 or maybe even 2 cups of pumpkin seeds for the amount of syrup. If you like them spicier, then you’d just increase the spices.

I really enjoyed how salty, sweet, tangy, and crunchy this recipe turned out. Quite an addicting combination! If I made it again, I’d increase the ratio of pepitas so it was equal to, or greater than the number of cranberries. I’d also increase the spice ratio just a bit, but the salt level was perfect for me. 

It took a little longer to dry out after the addition of the maple syrup than the recipe called for (more like 20-25 minutes). I checked and shook the pan about every 5 minutes. All in all, I think this would be a great snack any time of the day or year.

When holiday time rolls around and you need easy gifts for teachers, the mailman, etc, this is a great option! It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free, so it’s likely to be a safe, edible gift for most of the people in your life.

I liked this recipe especially since it stuck to just one seed and one dried fruit. I didn’t have to source a bunch of different nuts to make this, like most granola or nut mixes. My only tweak would be increasing the cinnamon a little bit, as I love the warmth of that flavor.

These are gloriously addictive, very simple to make, and great with a cold beer. Great to make at Christmas time as the smell of the cinnamon drifts through the kitchen. What I liked about these was that they weren’t too sweet and no spice dominated; just scrummy and flavoursome.

Originally published June 22, 2009

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

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Comments

  1. I’m thinking about the best time to add nuts. Would you pretoast them then add with all ingredients for final 15 min roast? Or just adding at the final 15 min roast is enough? I’m thinking of possibly adding slivered almonds (1/2 cup) and reduce pumpkin seeds to 1 cup. Any thoughts?

    1. Denise, I think if you were using slivered almonds, the final 15 minute roast should be enough to toast them. Do let us know how it goes!

    1. cynthia, you can keep these in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. They should keep well for at least 3 days.

  2. 5 stars
    I finally made this today. It was easy to do and is so delicious I can’t stop eating it. I added 1/4 tsp ground ginger to the spices. I’m going to put a bowl of it out on the table on Thanksgiving Day. It will definitely be a hit. Thanks so much for the great recipe.

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