This is it, the humble pumpkin’s time to shine! When you’re about to carve a wicked jack-o-lantern, don’t forget about a great once-a-year treat when you’re up to your elbows in pumpkin guts: roasted pumpkin seeds.
This year we have two wonderful varieties of pumpkins: the very large Mrs. Wrinkles from Fresh from the Garden, and the smaller but no less mighty sugar pumpkins from Pioneer Gardens. Both are equally good for roasting and making into pumpkin puree (check out how to do that with your slow cooker here), but they also make frightfully good decorations.
If you’re already going to have your hands full (yeah, the internet says use your ice cream scoop this year, but it’s just not Halloween if you’re not covered in stringly orange goop) of pumpkin innards, save those seeds and roast them to perfection for a snack that’s naturally high in protein and good fats, as well as vitamin E and manganese. And they’re definitely tasty when salted.
Here’s how we do them, feel free to add your own flavour twists!
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Save the seeds from your pumpkin (we like to drop ours right into a colander while we’re scooping). Try your best to separate the seeds from any pulp and strings, but some will end up stuck, that’s OK. When you’ve got all the seeds, rinse them in a colander under cool water. Lightly oil a cookie sheet (try camelina oil from Three Farmers) and throw a splash of oil over the seeds too – not too much! Now choose your flavour. We like just good old salt, but try salt & pepper, chili flakes and cumin, or go sweet with a bit of cinnamon and sugar. Toss the seasonings over the seeds while they are wet in the colander, then turn them out onto the cookie sheet and sprinkle on a bit more. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until the seeds are dried on the outside and you can crunch through the shells. Let cool and enjoy your Halloween treat! (These last about 3 minutes at our house.)
Yes, it’s fine to eat them in the shells – if it bothers you, treat them like sunflower seeds and suck off all the seasoning, then split the outer shell with your teeth, and eat the yummy green seed inside. Happy Halloween!