Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Yummy Pun'kin Seeds

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
- Salt

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.

1 comment:

  1. Susan- I'm a freelance writer and trying to contact you b/c I'm interested in interviewing you for an article I'm writing. I can't seem to find your contact info so I'm posting a comment here in the hopes you'll get it quickly since I'm on a tight deadline...can you email me at LAGetz@gmail.com and I'll give you more details about the article and see if you're interested in being interviewed?

    Appreciate your consideration!
    Lindsey Getz