Pumpkin Seeds

I have joined the scores of food bloggers who have gone pumpkin crazy this fall.  I find no shame in this fact.  And it’s been really fun trying new things, like Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese.

The latest in the line of new pumpkin goodies are roasted pumpkin seeds.  Toasted, crunchy, and just a hint of salt.  I’d never had them before, but I thought it would be fun to do something with the seeds from our jack-o-lanterns.

The process is simple, but time consuming.

First you have to carve pumpkins.
eeewww

Then you have to wash off all the goo. Or, I guess it’s called flesh.  Nope, I like goo better.

Because we ran out of time (trick-or-treating and whatnot) I let the seeds dry out overnight.

The next day, or maybe it was the next-next day, I can’t remember (sugar coma), I put 6 cups of seeds into 8 cups of salted water and brought it all to a boil. Fifteen minutes or so.

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It’s always more fun if you have a helper in the kitchen. My helper happens to be pint-size.

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Before the water came to a rolling boil, I noticed that all sorts of patterns started to emerge in the pumpkin seeds. It was incredibly cool, and incredibly mesmerizing. (My helper had to keep reminding me where and who I was.)

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After I pulled myself out of the pumpkin seed vortex, I used a strainer to drain the seeds, then laid them all on a towel to wipe off the excess water. I had so many seeds that I had to do it in batches.

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Once they were mostly dry, I tossed them in a bowl with a little bit of olive oil and salt.
I put the vast majority of the seeds on a pan in a single layer, and then added a bit more salt.

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The rest of the seeds got a sprinkle of cumin and paprika.

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Then they all went into the oven at 350F for about 45 minutes. They make a really cool popping noise as they cook, and they’ll continue to pop for a few minutes after they’re removed from the heat.

Unfortunately for a few of the little pumpkin seeds, I had the bottom rack of my oven too close to the heating element. By the time I smelled what was happening, it was too late to save them.

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But the rest of them turned out lovely.

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The plain salted seeds are my favorites. The seasoned seeds are definitely good, but they don’t have enough of a flavor to entice me. Perhaps next time some spiciness would help.

I have to admit that I’m not sure why they needed to be boiled. I found about a million methods for roasting pumpkin seeds, and 500,000 said to boil them, and the other 500,000 didn’t mention it. I’m guessing that you boil them to remove all traces of goo, but if you do a good enough job washing the seeds, perhaps boiling isn’t necessary. Six of one, half dozen of the other I guess.

Happy fall!  More pumpkin coming soon…
Jo

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