RISMEDIA, Oct. 22, 2007-With all the carving to be done during Halloween season, why not make a healthy, delicious and seasonal snack from the leftovers? It’s easy to roast pumpkin seeds, and they make a yummy end to a pumpkin carving session.
1. Scoop all of the pumpkin’s stringy insides out of the pumpkin and into a bowl.
2. Separate the seeds from the flesh and strings.
3. Place the seeds in a strainer or colander and discard the rest.
4. Rinse the seeds under cold water. Make sure all the pumpkin meat and strings is off the seeds; it will burn in the oven.
5. Soak the seeds (optional).
6. Fill a large bowl about 2/3 with water.
7. Add salt to the water until it is saturated.
8. Place seeds in the salt-water solution and let soak for about 2 days.
9. Dump all of the water out of the bowl.
10. Dry the seeds with paper towels. Season the seeds.
This is where you can get as creative as you want. Here are some ideas:
– sprinkle with additional salt
– toss every cup of seeds with 1 tbsp of vegetable, olive or canola oil until the seeds are coated; it will help additional seasonings stick
– substitute melted butter for the oil season with chili powder, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, and/or other strong flavors for a savory snack
– season with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for a sweet snack
– toss the seeds in sauce like hot sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, etc.
11. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet or pizza pan. Make sure there is only one layer of seeds.
12. Roast the seeds.
There are several ways to do this:
– Broil – Preheat your oven to the “Broil” setting, so only the top element is activated. Place the sheet into the preheated oven. Watch carefully, as different ovens broil at a variety of temperatures. This should usually take no more than 10 minutes. When the top of the seeds has turned brown, you can do one of two things based on your texture preferences: (a) Remove the pan now for a slightly crispy and nutty texture, or (b) remove the pan and flip the seeds over. Replace back in the oven and toast another 10 minutes, or until brown. This yields a very crispy and salty seed.
– Bake – Preheat the oven to 150º C or 300º F and leave the pumpkin seeds in there until browned (45 – 55 minutes), shaking them around every 5-10 minutes to prevent burning.
– Microwave – Put the seeds in the microwave for 2 minutes. Take them out, stir, and put them back in for 1 minute. Keep stirring them after every minute in the microwave until they’re crispy enough.
– Pan – Roast them in a pan, constantly shifting them around so that they roast evenly and don’t stick to the pan.
13. Set them aside to cool. Hot pumpkin seeds can burn your skin.
14. Store seeds in an air-tight container and refrigerate them for up to two months.
Additional Delicious Tips:
– Roast pumpkin seeds while carving your pumpkin so you will have a tasty snack when you are finished.
– They can also be added to a salad or soup.
– A small toaster oven will use a lot less electricity and will work just as well as a full size oven in a stove. Use a toaster over if you have only one pumpkin’s worth of seeds. Larger ovens are best for several pumpkins.
– If you want seeds for re-growing your beauties as well as seeds to eat, separate some of your seed harvest and spread them out to dry on a screen, cookie tray or even a large dish. Air dry the seeds for several days, in direct sunlight if possible. Store the completely dried seeds in a glass jar with an airtight lid; this will keep them viable until ready for planting next spring.
– This roasting method also works for squash seeds.