Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

A pumpkin carving will give you from one to two cups of seed, so this recipe will use 1 1/2, and can easily be adjusted. There are different preferences as to whether you should rinse them, or leave them with a little of the pulp still clinging. My 13 year old likes to make them un-rinsed. My 11 year old likes the rinsed and boiled before baking. This recipe will cover both methods.
Step One: Preparing the Seed

Rinsed and Boiled-
Separate the seeds from as much pulp as you possibly can. Then put them into strongly salted boiling water and let boil until somewhat grey, about 20 minutes.

Squish the seeds from the pulp with your hands and don't worry about a little pumpkin goo still clinging. It's edible after all. My son sorts through them to find the ones with pumpkin innards baked on.

Either way you prefer to do this, the seeds will roast best after drying. Lay them out and allow them to dry at least overnight, flipping them over if you have to. They need to be single layer, and not in heaps. The unrinsed ones especially. I have waited several days to roast the seeds after pumpkin carving time, so you can even save this for an activity the next week-end, if you're really patient.
Step Two: Seasoning

Once dry, turn your oven to 300ยบ F and pour the seeds into a bowl. Now here is a point in which you might want to alter the recipe according to your tastes. Some people like to use seasoned salt, garlic salt, flavored oils, etc. Just add what you want to the tossing stage. If you boiled the seeds in salty water, they might be salty enough, or not. Taste one to see. Like I said, this recipe is for 1 1/2 cups, so adjust if needed.

Boiled, and already salty- toss them with 1 T melted butter, 1 T olive oil, and spread out on lightly oiled cookie sheets, single layer
Un-Rinsed- Toss with 1 T salt, 1 T melted butter, and 1 T olive oil, and spread out on cookie sheets, single layer. Less salt is okay too, it's on the outside of the seed, after all, and you'll be able to taste it. I just have found that my family likes them salty, and we don't indulge in salty foods often, so it isn't an issue in my home.

Step Three: Toasting.

Ovens vary as everyone knows, so just use the time given as a guideline, not an absolute. The main thing is to WATCH THEM CAREFULLY TOWARD THE END OF BAKING, because you only want them to turn a toasty light brown, not dark. And make sure they are not stuck together in globs, because you won't get even toasting. Use as many sheets as necessary to get the seeds in a single layer.

Boiled- Bake for approx. 30 minutes, stirring them at least once.
Un-Rinsed- Bake for approx. 45 minutes, stirring at least once.
Step Four: The hardest part

Wait for them to cool before you try them so you don't burn your mouth, and take away the sense of taste. What a pity that would be.

Some people like to sprinkle the seeds while still hot from the oven with a bit of sugar.
Another Option: You can also toast seed from a specialty store, which are already hulled. Just season and oil them and bake for about 15 minutes, keeping a close eye on them.


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