This recipe makes a wonderful side dish for any raw meal. I like to pair this with the zucchini pasta and creamy red pepper sauce recipe for that real Italian feel.

Pumpkin seeds are fabulous for you – they have amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids, contain many B vitamins, as well as C, D, E and K. They also have wonderful minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorous and niacin. Feel free to much on these all day long!

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Marinated Asparagus & Fennel with Pumpkin Seeds

Yield: 2-3 servings

15 asparagus spears, woody ends removed
3/4 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
1-2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt, to taste
2-3 Tbs Italian pumpkin seeds (see recipe below)

Method:
1. In a bowl or plate, marinate the asparagus and fennel in the lemon juice, olive oil, and sea salt. The longer the vegetables are allowed to marinate, the more tender they will be. You can also warm them and expedite the process of tenderizing by putting them in the dehydrator for a few hours.
2. Once marinated, serve and top with the seasoned (or plain if you like) pumpkin seeds.

Italian Pumpkin Seeds

Yield: 4 cups

4 cups pumpkin seeds, soaked
2-4 Tbs Braggs Liquid Aminos or nama shoyu
3 Tbs flax seed
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp fennel seed
½ tsp dried sage
2 pinches cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes

Method:
1. In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin seeds and soy sauce. Set aside.
2. In a spice grinder, combine the flax seed, onion powder, garlic powder, fennel seed, sage, and cayenne or red pepper flake. Grind to a fine powder.
3. To the mixing bowl, add the ground spice mixture and mix well. Allow to stand for 15 minutes before spreading on trays to dehydrate. Dehydrate overnight, or until pumpkin seeds are thoroughly dry and crunchy. Store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!