Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Savory Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Difficult? No
Time consuming? Not after you've got your seeds.

Pumpkin | Part 1

Hubby's pumpkin on the left, mine on the right,

I love pumpkin seeds. I look forward to October every year just so I can carve pumpkins for seeds. I even have friends over to carve pumpkins just so I can collect more. Also they're really fun people to hang out with.

The worst part about making roasted pumpkin seeds is separating all the guts from the seeds, but it's a task that's well worth the effort. A trick to help separate seed from pulp is to put the seeds and pulp in a a tub of water and stir. Let sit for a few minutes and the pulp should sink to the bottom while the seeds float to the top. This method isn't perfect but gets the job started.

My pumpkin seeds are not "traditional," meaning I don't just cook and salt them. Rather they are a blend of favors that I like, but the quantities can be adjusted to your personal taste.

Start by separating the seeds from the pulp. If you aren't going to cook your seeds right away, store them in salt water in the fridge (no longer than a week). If you are going to wait a day or two before cooking, smash a clove of garlic and add it to 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Set in fridge until you're ready to use (Caution! Garlic sitting in olive oil can produce botulism if left out at room temperature for too long or if not used within 24-48 hours, so feel free to omit this step or be careful. And throw away any extra oil). When you are ready to cook, measure out how many cups of seeds you have (four medium pumpkins gave me just over 5 cups of seeds).

Boil 4 cups of water with 4 teaspoons of salt for every cup of seeds. You can decrease the amount of salt if you like but really this only lightly favors the seed. Add seeds and boil for 10 minutes. Drain seeds and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Put into a medium sized bowl.

Brush olive oil on a foil lined sheet or roasting pan. Add oil, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings  to seeds. Stir until evenly coated. Spread out in a single layer on the pan (depending on your quantity of seeds you may need more than 1).

Bake for 1-2 hours at 250 degrees stirring occasionally. Seeds are done when dry and crispy.

The recipe.

1 cup of pumpkin seeds, cleaned of any pulp
4 cups water
4 teaspoons salt (1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon (garlic infused) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon  Worcestershire sauce

3/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less, to taste)
pinch of thyme (I measured out 1/16 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon paprika


1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet or a roasting pan with foil and brush with olive oil, set aside.

2. Boil 4 cups of water and 4 teaspoons of salt with seeds for 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, pat dry with a tea towel, and place into a medium sized bowl.

3. Add remaining olive oil (should be about 1/2 teaspoon), Worcestershire sauce, and spices. Stir until seeds are evenly coated.

4. Spread seeds into a single layer on baking sheet (or roasting tray) and bake, stirring about every 30 minutes, for at least1 hour, or until seeds are dry and crispy (which may take up to 2 hours; mine took one and a half hours for my desired crispiness).

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