How to Make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I'm not sure how it happened, but about 13 years have passed since the first time I made these roasted pumpkin seeds with my mother. I remember it was my idea then, having seen it in some children's magazine or other. She patiently cleaned off the seeds from our Jack-o-Lanterns and let me oil and salt them before placing in the oven. I think we left them in a bit too long that first time and the seeds came out a slightly burnt. I'm sure we ate them, but they were unremarkable enough that we never tried them again.

This year, however, I couldn't stop thinking about them and decided to give them another shot. I used low heat this time, leaving them in for a full hour, and they came out perfectly. I'm glad I did. They roasted up nicely and we've been snacking on them all weekend. When I brought a small dish of them to my boyfriend to munch on while playing XBox, he commented that I'm "like the indians" because I use up all parts of food. I admit that I do love the feeling of being able to use up the various parts of things and the more I learn, the more incapable I've become of throwing food out. My freezer is currently filled with things like onion stems and apple peels that I plan to use in future dishes.

I think these toasted seeds taste a lot like movie theater popcorn, although I suspect E disagrees because each time I mention it he responds with little more than an unintelligible murmur. Perhaps you agree? Let me know!

You could jazz these up with spices or sugar or any number of herbs, but I like the plain kind. Just olive oil and salt. Oh and yes, you can eat pumpkin seeds whole--shell and all!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

Pumpkin seeds fresh from the pumpkin
Olive Oil

Plunge the pumpkin seeds into a bowl of cold water and use your hands to pull off the strings and bits of pulp left on them. A few good swishes in the bowl is usually enough. Let sit for a minute or two and all the pulp will sink to the bottom, allowing you to scoop out the seeds with a col lander.

Note: This is much easier if the pumpkin seeds are fresh out of the pumpkin. If you let them sit around and dry a bit it gets harder. 

Spread the seeds out in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet and used your hands to mix and coat them well. I use a pastry brush to swirl them around.

Sprinkle with salt (and optional spices) and place in a 250 degree oven for about 45-60 minutes. Note that near the end you may hear a bit of popping, similar to when making popcorn. 

Let cool and store in an air-tight container.


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  2. Pumpkin is all the rage these days! So THAT'S how you get all the stringy yucky stuff off. Will be trying your technique this with my lump of pumpkin guts sitting in the fridge. :)

  3. I tried these in the weekend while watching dvd's. I agree they do infact taste like movie popcorn. They are yummy tho im not sure i cooked them long enough as they were really chewy. Will atempt these again sometime.


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