It’s pumpkin season, thus pumpkin seed season. When you’re carving Jack-o’-lanterns, don’t toss the seeds! When roasted, they make a great, low-calorie snack, and can be used to add crunch to salads and soups. They contain some valuable nutrients (read all about them here) and while you can buy pumpkin seeds at the store year-round (they’re called pepitas), they’re so much better when freshly roasted with your favorite seasonings added.
In the October issue of Food Network Magazine, Food Network Kitchens demonstrated how to roast pumpkin seeds, plus 5 ways to spice them up. Here’s how you do it:
Seed the pumpkin: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Using a spoon, scrape the pulp and seeds out of your pumpkin into a bowl.
Clean the seeds: Separate the seeds from the stringy pulp, rinse the seeds in a colander under cold water, then shake dry. Don’t blot with paper towels; the seeds will stick.
Dry the seeds: Spread the seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet and roast 30 minutes to dry them out.
Add spices: Toss the seeds with olive oil, salt and your choice of spices. Return to the oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 20 more minutes.
Just plain salt is nice, but you can get pretty creative with your favorite spice combinations. Try one of these:
Sweet: Omit salt and toss seeds with cinnamon and sugar.
Indian: Toss with garam masala; mix with currants after roasting.
Spanish: Toss with smoked paprika; mix with slivered almonds after roasting.
Italian: Toss with grated parmesan and dried oregano.
Images and instructions are from Food Network Magazine, October 2011.