Spiced Nut amd Seed Crunch

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Another winner from the Bon Appetit cleanse. I upped the spices and added more nuts.

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 large egg white
1 tsp light agave syrup
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 c raw cashews, coarsely chopped
1/2 c shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 c shelled sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 300°. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk egg white, agave, garam masala, salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add nuts and seeds and toss to coat.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer mixture to baking sheet, letting excess egg drip back into bowl. Bake, tossing once, until mixture is golden brown, 20–25 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet.

DO AHEAD: Crunch can be made 5 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Squash Soup with Pepitas Two Ways

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Fall is finally upon us in California – it’s a chilly 59 degrees today! Which means it is time for soup!! This one is from Food & Wine – I love the use of pepitas two ways to add different textures to the creamy soup!

Ingredients:
3/4 c raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
6 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp sugar
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 3 lb kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bay leaf
2/3 c white wine
4 c vegetable stock
2 c water
Pumpkin seed oil for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread 1/2 cup of the pumpkin seeds in a pie plate. In another pie plate, toss the remaining 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds with the 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil, the sugar and a pinch of salt. Bake the pumpkin seeds for 12 minutes, stirring once, until lightly browned and crisp; let cool completely.
Transfer the plain roasted pumpkin seeds to a mini food processor. Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil and pulse until the seeds are ground to a paste. Season with salt.

In a saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened and just starting to brown, 8 minutes. Add the squash and bay leaf and cook, stirring, until the squash just begins to soften, 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until almost evaporated, 4 minutes. Add the stock and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring, until the squash is very tender, 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.

Purée the soup with an immersion blender until smooth.

Garnish with seeds, pesto and a drizzle of pumpkin oil.

Serves 6.