Monday, October 31, 2011

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

I love toasting pumpkin seeds! And, it is so easy to do, kind of squishy and messy, but most definitely easy. I remember as a child that it was my dad's job to carve the pumpkin and my mom, my sister, and I would fish the seeds out of the pumpkin "guts". Such great memories of this activity that it still makes me smile today.

Pumpkin seeds
Optional seasonings: Salt, melted butter, chili powder, garlic powder, red pepper, all spice, nutmeg, etc. etc. etc. etc.
A little butter or oil to grease your baking pan

How To:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare seeds by extract from pumpkin "guts" and wash. See comments below for information about soaking. Then add to a lightly "greased" cookie sheet.

2. If seasoning only with melted butter and salt, salt the seeds and then cook for about 20-30 minutes until toasted to your desired level (we like ours a little burny). Remove from oven and cover with melted butter and more salt, as needed.

If you are seasoning with other seasonings, go ahead and season prior to baking and then re-season, if needed, when done. You may want to reduce oven temperature to 250 to 300 and cook longer to ensure the seasonings don't burn, but we thought 325 worked just fine.

Comments: My husband is a spicy pumpkin seeds type of a guy and I am a traditionalist, butter and salt only for me, so we always make several batches. You can store the seeds in an air tight container for about a week. The pictures here show 1/3 of the seeds (one batch) and they are plain (toasted and salted only). We gutted about 4 medium sized pumpkins and 1 small pumpkin.

I read a great article for pumpkin seeds last year that suggested soaking the seeds in salt over night. Well, let me tell you, ever since I read that article we have been soaking our pumpkin seeds and I think it does really improve the salty flavor and texture. Of course, I am a huge fan of soaking, so this is right up my alley anyway. I highly recommend soaking in salt (1/2 tsp. per cup of water) for at least 7 hours or overnight as part of this process.

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