Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
They taste just as good as I remember them. I haven’t had pumpkins seeds since I was a kid! My Mom always kept them when we would carve pumpkins and from what I remember, they never lasted very long. As in, we ate them all so quickly. Granted, I have five siblings and food in general never really lasted that long. Pumpkin seeds, sometimes identified as pepitas in the grocery store, are extremely good for you. The are high in iron, protein, and magnesium, but click on the link for the complete low-down of their nutritional benefits. And they are cheap! Well, cheap if you are willing to gut a pumpkin and subject yourself to the slime within. This is much easier if you have kids who will do it for you. As my children are under the age of five, and I was holding an expensive camera (ie slime free zone) it was my husband who assisted in the carving and scraping of our pumpkins. After we cleaned up the seeds and roasted them, my kids pounced on them as though we hadn’t fed them in days. Even my 18 month old was snitching them off the sheet pan on the counter. Now, you can shell pumpkins seeds, discarding the large outer shell in favor of the soft, smaller seed inside, but I honestly don’t know anyone who does that. Its tedious, a lot of work for not much gain, and in my opinion, unnecessary. If roasting your own pumpkin seeds is something you have never done I highly recommend it. You only get this chance once a year and its a great way to get involved with the spirit of the season. Hopefully, you won’t have to share with three brothers and two sisters. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Once you have removed the seeds from the pumpkin, rinse thoroughly in warm water, taking care to separate the seeds from the stringy orange membrane. They do not need to be spotless. Any pumpkin piece left on the seeds will just add flavor, but I personally like them pretty clean. Mix the seeds with a few drizzles of olive oil, just to lightly coat them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and spread in an even layer on a metal baking sheet. Roast at 325 for 10 minutes, toss with a spatula, and roast for another 10 minutes. Let them go a little longer if you like them really toasted. Once cool, them will last for a few days, tightly sealed on the counter, a few weeks in the fridge, or a few months in the freezer.
Variation: Use season salt instead of salt and pepper. Use a bit of cayenne and cumin if you like them spicy. Use cinnamon and cloves if you want them a bit sweet. These are great tossed in with granola or trail mix.