How to Cook Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are the perfect Halloween treat. If you carved a pumpkin for Halloween (and who didn’t ?) you removed the seeds along with the pumpkin “guts.” Rather than just tossing everything into the compost pile, you can easily turn the seeds into a delicious munch. I consider Toasted Pumpkin Seeds to be one of the tasty side benefits of pumpkin carving and they come free with the pumpkin!
All the Free Pumpkin Seeds You Want
If you didn’t carve a pumpkin on Halloween, you can still enjoy cooking and eating the pumpkin seeds. Here’s how; a few days after Halloween take a trip down to the local pumpkin farm. They likely have a good supply of unsold pumpkins and will often give them to you for free. Even the rotting pumpkins have delicious seeds inside, so don’t be shy about asking for them.
I still fondly recall a trip my college friends and I took to a pumpkin farm several days after Halloween. We left with an entire car full of free pumpkins. We used every sink in our dorm bathroom to wash the seeds and when we were finished roasting them, we had a huge garbage bag full of yummy treats that we all enjoyed for weeks.
Roasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe
After removing the innards from the pumpkin you need to separate the seeds from the pumpkin pulp. This is easiest to do with your hands, separating the stringy stuff and putting the seeds into a bowl. You can wear gloves if you don’t like the squishy feeling on your fingers.
Wash the pumpkin seeds well by soaking them in a bowl, or running water through them in a colander. You want to clean off as much pumpkin pulp as you can.
Soak the pumpkin seeds in some salted water for a several hours. If you use about 1/4 cup of salt for each 2 cups of water, they will be quite salty.
Dry the pumpkin seeds by spreading them out on kitchen towels (don’t use paper towels, as the seeds will stick to the paper). You want them completely dry. Don’t neglect this step or they won’t brown nicely.
Either toss the pumpkin seeds in olive oil or melted butter or spray them well with spray oil.
If you want to add some seasonings, sprinkle them with your choice of a combination of garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, Chile powder, or a seasoning salt mix. Cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar add interesting flavors.
Spread the coated seeds out in a baking tray (don’t crowd them) and bake them at 325Â° for about 1 hour, checking them and tossing every 10-15 minutes to make sure that they don’t burn and all turn a nice golden brown color.
Cool pumpkin seeds before eating. You can store them in an airtight container for up to 3 months, but I doubt that last that long!
photo by: jaxzin