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.
- pumpkin's stringy insides out of the pumpkin and into a bowl.
- Place the seeds in a strainer or colander and discard the rest.
- Rinse the seeds under cold water. Make sure all the pumpkin meat and strings is off the seeds; it will burn in the oven.
- Soak the seeds (optional).
- Fill a large bowl about 2/3 with water.
- Add salt to the water until it is saturated.
- Place seeds in the salt-water solution and let soak for 8 to 48 hours.
- Dump all of the water out of the bowl.
- 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 old bay/crab seasoning, 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, Worchestershire sauce, etc.
- Roast the seeds. There are several ways to do this:
- 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.
- Set them aside to cool. Hot pumpkin seeds can burn your skin.
- Store seeds in an air-tight container and refrigerate them for up to two months.
A friend of mine used to season hers with Lawry's seasoning salt. Very tasty.