Thursday, November 3, 2011 |

Pumpkin Seeds A Fall Tradition

     I love this time of year, if you haven't already figured that out and one of the things I look forward to is the homemade roasted pumpkin seeds. This year I had four pumpkins that I got to take the seeds from and roast them. I don't know if it is my imagination but I swear that pumpkins have less and less seeds every year. With 4 pumpkins though, I got a pretty nice little bunch of them.
     I love the pumpkin seeds, but rarely ever buy them in the store because they are to salty and make my lips pucker up real bad. So I look forward to having my own. It's so simple and easy!
      I first throw all of the pumpkin guts into a big colander and take the large chunks and separate the seeds from the pulp. I run the colander under the water and just start swirling and squeezing the seeds away from the other pieces of pulp while picking out the pumpkin. This process can take a while, but if your colander has some fairly large holes a lot of the pumpkin will slide out as your swirling.

      Once the pumpkin seeds are clean I lay them out on paper towels to let them dry off. You can leave them out for several days to dry or pat them down and roast them immediately. I do find that letting them dry for a couple of days makes them roast just a little faster. If your going to let them dry at least overnight or more, be sure to transfer them to a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. They tend to stick to the paper towels and it's harder to get them off.

     Once they have dried spread just a small amount of olive oil or you can use vegetable oil on the seeds and stir them around to coat. A little oil really does go a long way. Than I liberally sprinkle with sea salt. This year I actually used the Pink Himalayan salt for a little more salty flavor. A little of this salt goes a long way, but on the seeds I still used liberally to be sure that once the seeds have been turned that there is plenty on them.

     Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Put the seeds into the oven setting the timer for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes stir the seeds around. Repeat this process 2 more times for a total of 21 minutes. Cooking time may vary and it also depends on if you want them really roasted or slightly roasted.  Let them cool completely on the tray and than pack into storage bags or re-usable air tight containers for snacking. If you have a lot of seeds you may also want to divide them up to roast. you want them to be fairly flat on the cookie sheet and not all bunched up. This helps the seeds get an even roasting.

     Here is the finished product! It's simple, easy, and a great low calorie snack and a lot less sodium than the seeds that are sold in the stores. The hardest part is getting them separated from the pumpkin pulp, but I find that it's worth the extra effort for me. It's also just another way that I celebrate the joys of the fall season.
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