Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Happy Halloween to all of my readers!  If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that Halloween is a pretty big day for me.  Tonight we will have dumb supper and take a moment to honor the spirits of our departed loved ones.  Trick-or-treating has been cancelled or postponed in a lot of towns around here due to hurricane damage.  However you choose to celebrate, please do so in a manner that’s safe for everyone involved.

In the middle of our hustle to prepare for the hurricane, we did take some time to obtain and carve pumpkins with the kids. At our trip to the Sunflower Farm in Orange, the farmer told us to have the kids each pick out a small pumpkin for free on their way out.  This meant that in total, we had six pumpkins to play with.  We only carved four of the six, but that yielded plenty of pumpkin seeds.  Roasted pumpkin seeds are, I suspect, the only reason Lane entertained my demand to go to a pumpkin farm while we were getting ready for a hurricane.  The kids had a great time scooping out and carving their pumpkins.

Once you scoop the guts out of the pumpkin and separate the seeds, roasting the seeds is easy.  If you have kids around, this is a great way to get them to perform child labor help in the kitchen.  M and O didn’t have any qualms about sticking their hands in pumpkin guts and pulling the seeds out for me.  If you don’t have kids to do the labor, it’s not so bad to have to do it yourself.  No matter how carefully you remove the seeds, you’re bound to have some pumpkin guts stuck to them.  Put all of the seeds in a large bowl of water and let them sit for a few minutes.  The pumpkin guts will fall to the bottom, the seeds will float.  I lay my seeds out to dry before I start roasting them, which can take a while so plan ahead.  In a pinch, I’ve aimed a hair dryer at them to dry them out a little quicker and it works great (even if it results in people staring at you like you’re a crazy person).  Roasted pumpkin seeds lend themselves to a lot of different flavors.  A sprinkle of salt is usually my favorite way to do this, but I did try another flavor this year and it was great (and I’ll share that tomorrow- today, just the basics!).  A sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar is nice if you’re looking for a sweet treat, there’s no rule that says this can only be a savory snack.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:

  • 2 C. fresh pumpkin seeds
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1-4 tsp. olive oil

Directions:

Ensure pumpkin seeds are dry before starting. Leave them out on baking sheets in a single layer to dry.  Alternately, you can heat the oven to 150 degrees, lay the pumpkin seeds out in a single layer on baking sheets and place them into the oven, stirring every ten minutes, until they’re dry.  Or, you can use a hair dryer on the low setting (yes, I’m serious).

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put the pumpkin seeds in a bowl and toss with enough olive oil to lightly coat them (start with 1-2 tsp. and add more if needed).

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the seeds out in a single layer on the lined baking sheet.

Sprinkle the seeds with salt.

Bake for 10-40 minutes, using a spatula to stir and turn the seeds every 10 minutes.  Watch them carefully so they don’t burn.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before storing in air tight containers.

Makes 2 cups.

Source: Diana Dishes original

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