Perfectly Roasted Pumpkin Seeds by Jo Elizabeth Pinto #Jo’sKitchen #SocialMediaMonday #Tips

Perfectly Roasted Pumpkin Seeds by Jo Elizabeth Pinto #Jo’sKitchen #SocialMediaMonday #Tips

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I started roasting pumpkin seeds several years ago when my kid got into carving jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween. It was bound to happen, really. I hate throwing away food. My daughter and her dad call my kitchen thrift an obsession. I’d rather think of it as a stand against waste.

Either way, my daughter loved the art of carving jack-o’-lanterns. But because of her sensory processing issues, or maybe just because of her personality, she couldn’t abide the unique smell and the slimy feel of pumpkin guts. Like a million moms before me, I got half coaxed and half coerced into doing the tasks others wouldn’t. After digging the seeds out of a few pumpkins, I wondered how difficult it would be to roast them.

A Google search and a few experiments taught me that preparing perfect pumpkin seeds is easy and satisfying. All you need is a pumpkin, an oven, and a few seasonings. Pumpkin seeds are delicious, nutritious, and just think. They might keep you from snacking on the Halloween candy you bought for the cute little darlings who come to your door… oh, who am I kidding? Still, they make a great snack to go along with the chocolate!

Perfectly Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:
about 2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds (or seeds from one medium-sized pumpkin)
2-3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted (substitute cooking oil, if desired)
1 teaspoon seasoning of choice (see #4)

Directions:
1. Scoop the seeds and flesh out of a medium-sized pumpkin and place everything in a large bowl. Separate the seeds from the stringy flesh with your fingers, transferring the seeds to a colander as you leave the flesh in the bowl. Rinse the seeds under cold running water, continuing to pull off the fibrous strands with your fingers. It’s important to get rid of as much of the fleshy pulp as possible, since it retains water that will keep your seeds from crisping up in the oven.

2. Drain the seeds in a colander and pat them dry with a paper towel. Excess water creates steam in the oven and prevents the seeds from getting crispy. I prefer letting the seeds dry overnight before roasting them, but if you don’t have the patience for that, at least keep turning them with a spoon till they no longer stick together.

3. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.

4. Stir your seasoning(s) of choice into the melted butter or margarine or your favorite cooking oil. I like to use a pinch of salt and a pinch of garlic, but other tasty options are a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, a teaspoon of brown sugar and a half a teaspoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of salt and a half a teaspoon of chili powder along with a smidge of red pepper flakes, salt and black or Cayenne pepper, or sugar and cocoa powder, to taste. Drizzle the seasoned oil or butter over the dry pumpkin seeds and stir to coat.

5. Spread the seasoned seeds in a single even layer on your prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring two or three times for even browning.

6. Turn up the oven to 325 degrees to get the seeds lightly browned and dry. Bake the seeds for five more minutes. Cool slightly and taste test a few seeds for crispiness. Seeds should not be chewy.

7. To store, cool completely and place in an airtight container. Enjoy!

8. Seeds may be refrigerated after rinsing for up to three days or frozen for up to two months before roasting.

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