Have you ever eaten a home-made roasted pumpkin seed?
When I was a kid, I remember digging the goo out of the big, huge jack-o-lantern pumpkin every Halloween while my mom stood over us ordering, "Save the seeds!" She would then clean them, pat them dry and roast them in the oven, with just a hint of salt.
And they were so good. I mean really, eat-the-entire-bowl good.
We aren't big pumpkin carvers here at our house (but we're working on it) so I never really have had the opportunity to roast seeds directly from a pumpkin. And while I have tried the prepacked and bulk roasted seeds in the past - they just don't have that fresh-from-the-oven taste like my mom's did.
So the other day, I bought bulk raw, untouched pumpkin seeds - green as can be (and surprisingly inexpensive, by the way). My kids and I then proceeded to ceremoniously prepare and roast them.
And guess what? They tasted exactly the same as I remember - they were so good. Crunchy, roasty and spicy with just a hint of sweet. We (including my husband) ate that entire bowl in just one day.
But the best thing? Pumpkin seeds are healthy.
Just one ounce provides a good source of iron and protein; as well as a good amount of your daily need for magnesium (essential for heart, bone and teeth health) and zinc (essential for growth in children) - not to mention they contain heart-healthy fats.
Inexpensive, easy to make and a good-for-you snack. What more do you want? And did I mention my kids loved them?
Check out the recipe below for simple, roasted seeds. No need to boil or precook them; and no need for butter or other unnecessary ingredients.
And if you missed out on saving your jack-o-lantern seeds, try bulk raw seeds. They are available year-round and are super cheap (I bought more than half a pound for just $1.50).
Crunchy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (just like Mom's)
- Raw pumpkin seeds
- Olive oil spray
1. If you're carving a pumpkin, separate the seeds from the stringy goo by rinsing in a colander. Don't worry if there are some pieces left; they'll cook up tasty, too. Just get the big chunky stuff off. Pat the seeds dry.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on the sheet. Spray a little olive oil spray over them. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
4. Bake at 400 degrees until seeds begin to brown and pop (about 10 to 15 minutes - keep your eye on them).
5. Let cool completely. Savor and enjoy.
Optional seasonings:You can also dress up your seeds with spicy, savory or sweet spices. Try a cinnamon/nutmeg/ginger combo for sweet. Or cayenne, chili powder and garlic for spicy. Italian seasoning with garlic and a bit of Parmesan make a good savory option. Experiment and find your favorite.