Get More from Pumpkin Carving by Baking the Seeds
My favorite memory of getting the jack-o-lantern ready every fall didn’t even include the designing, cutting, or illuminating. It was saving the seeds for our homemade pumpkin seed recipe that I really looked forward to. A simple way to get a little more from your pumpkin, it is still just as easy, delicious, and fun!
Even if you don’t celebrate Halloween, the pumpkin is a staple food for fall recipes and decorating schemes. The bright orange squash variety is selling in stores and markets across the country this month, and it is not too late to get in on the action of making a pie, bread, cake, or soup from its inside fruit. But don’t throw away the pulp and seeds! The best treat can be made by following these simple directions for tasty, crunchy, pumpkin seeds:
Step 1: Separate the seeds from the stringy pulp. Discard the pulp and place the seeds into a strainer or colander. Rinse the seeds in warm water under they are no longer slimy or sticky.
Step 2: Add the seeds to a small saucepan with 4 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of salt per cup of seeds. Bring the entire mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.
Step 3: Spray a non-stick cookie sheet with an all-natural cooking oil (olive oil is healthiest.) If you don’t have a spray-oil, use a paper towel and dab it in the oil, then smear it on the cookie sheet until it is evenly covered. Spread the seeds out on the sheet in a single layer, and sprinkle with salt.
Step 4: Bake on the upper rack of a preheated 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. (Some folks prefer them crunchier than others, so just toast to your liking.) Allow the seeds to cool a bit, and enjoy!
Baked seeds can be stored in a storage container or plastic bag for up to a week without a compromise in taste or texture, but ours never stay around that long! For extra variety, try using different oils, salts, herbs and spices on your seeds. (Cinnamon and sugar, rosemary, garlic, curry, chili seasoning, and pumpkin pie spice are all great ideas!)
Enjoy this frugal holiday treat, and please let us know of any other ideas for perking up pumpkin seeds that you may have.