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Three delicious ways to make the best roasted pumpkin seeds photos and story by hannah schmidt '19

Halloween is approaching, fall is here, and that only means one thing: lots and lots of pumpkin. Especially for families who carve pumpkins as a part of their annual Halloween tradition, putting to waste the seeds of a pumpkin is rather common.

Roasting pumpkin seeds, may seem daunting at first. Yes, pumpkins are pretty big vegetables and tough to cut open if you don't know how to do it right. Rest assured, roasted seeds are a staple fall snack and can be easily made in a variety of delicious ways. Here are three of my personal favorite recipes: classic, sweet & spicy and cinnamon & sugar.

PART 1: PREPARING THE PUMPKIN

YIELD about 1 1/2 cups seeds TIME 20 mins prep, 30 min baking

To prepare the pumpkin and harvest the seeds, you will only need a large pumpkin, a chef's knife, a spoon, a bowl and a baking sheet.

INGREDIENTS/TOOLS

  • 1 10''-12'' Diameter Pumpkin
  • Large Chef's Knife
  • Large Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Baking Tray

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bein by cutting and removing the stem and the top of the pumpkin. Holding the handle of the knife securely and your thumb and pointer finger pinching both sides of the blade. Cutting with the point of the knife slightly angled towards the center, carefully move around the pumpkin, carving out only the top.
  2. Remove the stem and top portion of the pumpkin. If there are any seeds attached, remove them with your hands and place them in the glass bowl.
  3. With the spoon or your hands, begin removing the 'guts' and the seeds by scraping along the edges of the inside of the pumpkin. Put all seeds into the glass bowl and discard of any 'guts'. If there is still some orange left on the seeds, you don't need to get rid of it, it can be removed before you bake the seeds or will burn off in the oven.
  4. When all the seeds are removed, your pumpkin can be used for carving or if you have the right variety of pumpkin, its flesh can be harvested for baking/cooking with.
You can use a spoon to remove the guts and the seeds of the pumpkin, but using your hands will be easier and much more effective, even if it gets a little messy.

PART 2: ROASTING THE SEEDS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 cups Pumpkin Seeds
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 2/3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. If you would like to clean the seeds, rinse them under cold water in a colander to remove the pulp leftover from the pumpkin. You don't have to do this, the pulp will burn off while roasting.
  3. Separate the seeds equally into three small bowls, about 1/2 cup seeds in each bowl
  4. To make the classic roasted seeds, mix 2 tsp salt and one tsp black pepper into the first bowl of seeds until evenly coated.
  5. To make sweet & spicy seeds, mix 1 tsp olive oil, 2 tsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp black pepper into the second bowl until evenly coated.
  6. To make cinnamon & sugar seeds, mix 1 tsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp salt into the third bowl until all seeds are evenly coated.
  7. Spread the seeds around the baking sheet, keeping them separate to avoid combining the different flavors and making sure they do not overlap too much.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until well browned on the outside, stirring once or twice halfway through baking. The brown sugar will caramelize and burn easily, so check occasionally to avoid burning too much.
  9. Take seeds out of the oven and using a wooden or metal spatula, scrape the pan to make sure none of the seeds are stuck to the pan.
  10. Let seeds cool for at least 30 minutes until eating.
I've split up the three different recipes on my baking sheet: Classic (L), Sweet & Sour (C), and Cinnamon & Sugar (R)
Scraping the pan and rotating the seeds halfway through roasting prevents the seeds from sticking too much to the pan and allowing them to brown evenly on both sides.

Pumpkin seeds are great when eaten alone, but they can also be incorporated into recipes like:

  • Granola
  • Brittle
  • Salads
  • Bread Doughs
  • Pies or Tarts
  • And so many more!
Pumpkin seeds are rich in healthy fats, nutrients like Magnesium and Zinc and other beneficial antioxidants. They make for the perfect snack!

Credits:

Hannah Schmidt

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