September 15, 2011

Easy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I love this time of year, when the weather starts getting cooler and fall produce starts appearing. One of my favorite activities during the fall is baking. The smell of nutmeg, cinnamon and all spice are wonderful. In my post yesterday, I did a step-by-step of how to make pureed pumpkin. The other great thing to make with pumpkins, besides the yummy puree are roasted pumpkin seeds. They are very easy and a variety of spices can be added to them.

The first step is to scrape out the seeds from the pumpkin. It doesn't matter whether you use a baking pumpkin or the pumpkin you helped your kids carve for a jack-o-lantern, either one will do. Run the pumpkin seeds under water and get rid of the pumpkin strings and flesh. Now the next step is to dry the seeds before spicing. There are a couple of different ways this can be done. First, you may wrap them in a couple of layers of paper towels and let them sit until they are dry. If you don't want to wait that long, the easiest trick is a hair dryer. My mom taught me this trick and it works great, just dry the seeds until they are no longer wet and your set. Now you can add seasoning. You can pretty much use any seasoning you wish, the seeds I made this week had a 'Halloween' flavor. I added the following spices: 
  • 3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter (you can also substitute vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
 Toss seeds in the spice mix and place into a 325 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes. You will want to stir and check on the progress at 10 minutes and every 5 minutes there after to prevent burning. The drier your seeds are to start the less time they will take in the oven. You seeds will look something like the picture below before going in the oven.

If you prefer traditional roasted pumpkin seeds the only ingredients you need are sea salt and oil or butter. If you are watching your fat or cholesterol you could also use cooking spray to coat the seeds. I have read of people soaking the seeds in apple juice or sugar water for a sweeter flavor or salt water overnight for a more savory flavor. I haven't personally tried either of these methods, but they sound yummy!

That's it, it's that simple. Pumpkin seeds are a great snack and very easy to make. Plus, it's a great recipe to have the kids help out with in the kitchen. My five-year-old got a kick out of making the pumpkin puree and roasted pumpkin seeds this year.
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