Pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, have been used through out South America, in particular, Mexico, for centuries. The Aztecs were sure to have eaten them since squash was once of the first domesticated crop in the Western hemisphere. They are full of nutritional benefits, high in zinc, magnesium, potassium and essential fatty acids, (omegas 3 and 6). Though these health benefits diminish once the seed is toasted or roasted, one can't really argue how good these little suckers are when spiked with a little chili powder and salt. (I also eat them in their raw state, by the handful).
Along with this quick stand-by snack, (which I like to use for salads or soup garnishes such as roasted butternut squash, mmm), consider using pepitas for cilantro pesto, or grind them (raw), into a medium powder and press into a piece of ahi, then sear.
The easiest way to make this is with a toaster oven. If you don't have one, preheat your oven to 375 and place seeds on a sheet pan and follow directions below. Pepitas can be found in Latin American markets, and in health food stores.
Chili Toasted Pepita Seeds
1 cup raw pepita seeds
1 - 2 tsp chili powder
pinch of salt
drizzle of olive oil
Place seeds on a tin foil-lined pan, fit for the toaster oven. Toast them for about 4 minutes, or
until you hear them start to "pop".
Place them in a small bowl and while still hot, add chili powder and salt. Drizzle a scant amount of oil just to lightly coat seeds. Toss and allow to cool.
Serve in salads, on top of soups as a garnish, or enjoy as a snack.