I expected pregnancy to mean constant, overwhelming, dramatic hunger. I'm growing a human being here—where is my sandwich? This has not, however, been the case for me. After all, most pregnant women need only about 300 extra calories a day. There have been a few one or two day stretches when I could think of nothing but food, and I'm pretty sure they were tied to growth spurts for baby. But that wasn't hunger so much as a strong urge, and I hope you will forgive my lack of delicacy, to stuff my face--an urge so strong I had trouble doing anything but preparing imaginary feasts for myself as I stared blankly at my computer--that passed soon enough.
Now that my unfettered sweet-eating (which was more about lack of willpower than my condition) is (somewhat) under control, I feel as if I'm eating pretty much the same way I always have, maybe slightly healthier and with a few more wholesome snacks than usual. I don't know if this is because I was already eating a huge amount of food and somehow exercising it off (dust collected on running shoes suggests no) or because I work at home and therefore can always have one of those snacks when I get hungry. My standbys are dried fruit, almonds, peanut butter, cheese, and sunflower seeds (which I don't actually like but are full of protein). This lineup is getting a little tired, though, so I think it might be time to make some candied pumpkin seeds. They don't have that much sugar in them, and pumpkin seeds are good for everyone.
- Yield:1/2 cup
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Generous pinch each of ground cinnamon, paprika, and cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Kosher salt
Toast the cumin seeds in a small pan over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, until the seeds release their aroma and are lightly browned. Pound them coarsely in a mortar.
Melt the butter in the cumin pan over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and sugar, then sprinkle the spices and a healthy pinch of salt over them. Toss the pumpkin seeds to coat them well with the butter and cook a few minutes, until just after they begin to pop and color slightly.
Turn off the heat and wait 30 seconds. Add the honey, tossing well to coat the pumpkin seeds. Spread on a plate and let them cool.