“It smells like childhood!” one of my friend’s roommates said, walking into the kitchen.
Between the sweet, heavy-vegetable smell of raw pumpkin and the toasting smell of pumpkin seeds, the kitchen did have some of the best scents of autumn. Personally, I think this is the most wonderful time of year: dressing up in costumes, enjoying the changing leaves, and pumpkin carving.
Carving jack-o-lanterns is half the fun— the rest is toasting and eating the seeds. Carving pumpkins and snacking on the seeds is a cherished childhood memory of mine. Trouble is, as an adult, I’ve discovered that toasting pumpkin seeds is, well, a bit messy and time-consuming. But worth it? Oh, heck yes.
Pumpkin seeds are easy to make; the time consuming part is getting them clean. There’s a few things I did that helped this process. Some recipes say to pay the seeds dry with a paper towel, but I found that the seeds stuck to the towel.
To clean the seeds:
- After you’ve scooped out your pumpkin innards and your hands are still goopy, separate the seeds from the stringy pumpkin insides. Put the semi-clean seeds into a colander.
- Rinse the seeds under water in the colander. The water will pull of a lot of the little bits, and the colander will help drain the rest of the pumpkin insides away.
To roast the seeds:
- You can either boil the seeds in salt water for ten minutes, or soak them in salt water for two hours. This makes the shell a lot crunchier— and also, a lot more salty. (I used about a tbsp of salt to soak them.)
- Preheat your oven to 350.
- While the oven is pre-heating, decide what kind of seasonings you want to use. The first batch had cinnamon and sugar; the second batch had sea salt and mustard powder. Do you want garlicy seeds, or spicy ones? Let your taste buds be your guide.
- Mix your seeds with your spices in a bowl, making sure the spices are even. I would use about a tsp of spices.
- Spread the seeds in an even layer on a cookie sheet.
- Roast the seeds for about 10 minutes; then take them out, swish the seeds around, try to flip them over, and put the tray back in.
- I would leave for about 5 to 7 minutes— and check the seeds at the 5 minute mark, to make sure you’re not burning them. The insides cook quickly.
Try not to eat them all in one sitting. Happy Halloween!
Roasted pumpkin Seeds are one of my favorites!
I just realized I call ’em toasted, because I made them in the toaster oven growing up. One of my favs too!