|Photo by Renato Ghio|
My first post in this Keepin’ It Real Pumpkin series was about making your own pumpkin puree. This time it’s about one of my favorite snacks at this time of year: pumpkin seeds. It feels especially appropriate to write about this week because we’ll be carving our Halloween Jack-O-Lantern soon and you know I’m not going to let all those seeds go to waste.
So, if you have never eaten pumpkin seeds, they have a slightly chewy texture and a subtly sweet, nutty flavor. Roasting them yourself draws out that flavor and turns them into a crunchy treat that can be as addictive as a chip or pretzel.
Pumpkin seeds also contain a lot of good things for you (just be mindful of how much fat and salt you use when roasting them). They contain a vast variety of antioxidant phytonutrients and health-supportive phytosterols. Pumpkin seeds are a very good source of phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, and other minerals including zinc and iron. On top of all that, pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein too.
But enough of that healthy stuff. Let’s get to the delicious part. Whether roasted with a complex blend of seasonings or simply kosher salt, pumpkin seeds are a blank canvas for whatever you want to do. In keeping with my pumpkin spice theme this year I go all in with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. I added just a hint of sweet with some local maple syrup.
So, dive barehanded into those pumpkin guts and separate out all the seeds. It’s a bit of a slimy mess, but a bit of childlike fun too. Don’t let those pumpkins seeds go to waste.
- 1 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 pinches, kosher salt
- If using fresh just carved out of the pumpkin seeds, separate out the seeds from the inner membrane, placing them into a colander.
- Rinse the seeds with lukewarm water to remove any membrane residue.
- Line a tray or baking sheet with a towel. Spread out the rinsed seeds. Pat dry with another towel. (Some of the seeds will stick to the towel. Just peel them off.)
- Let the seeds finish air drying for about an hour.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once dry, pour the seeds into a large bowl. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Toss to coat.
- Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil. Spread out your seasoned seeds.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Let the roasted seeds cool. Then snack away.
- The seeds will keep for a couple of weeks in a sealed container (if they last that long).