Top News

ERIN SULLEY: Pumpkin bonus – roasted seeds


Halloween is less than a week away. How many pumpkins have you carved?

Hubs and I are clearly over the age of trick or treating, but that doesn’t stop us from being kids at heart and carving pumpkins. It’s an annual tradition in our home. We sit down with some treats, put on a Halloween themed movie and carve our pumpkins. The carving of a pumpkin doesn’t just give the gift of a creepy or ghoulish decoration for the little goblins and ghosts, it delivers plenty of tasty pumpkin seeds.

If you are thinking, “no way am I going to eat those slimy pumpkin seeds!” Let me tell you, you haven’t experienced homemade pumpkin seeds. What’s so great about pumpkin seeds? I’ve read that they’re a superfood filled with all sorts of healthy goodness. They’re also gluten-free and vegan — a treat for many people to enjoy.

“What do you call a pumpkin who spits his seeds everywhere? A jerk o’lantern.” – Unknown

Pumpkin seeds are a welcomed bonus while enjoying pumpkin carving.

What’s great about roasting your own seeds is that you have so many options. You can keep the outside shell on or simply peel the outer layer if you’d rather the little green seed inside. There’s also a variety of flavours to use. You can make anything from ranch, salt and pepper, garlic, dill pickle, cinnamon sugar, spicy cayenne pepper, Italian and sweet maple syrup. That’s just a few examples to get you started. It’s kind of similar to making your own homemade popcorn spice.

To contain the pumpkin guts from getting all over the table or floor I lay out garbage bags. Once done gutting and carving my pumpkin, I’ll go through the pumpkin guts and put the seeds in a bowl.

By now you’re thinking, OK, these seeds have pumpkin guts all over them. There’s an easy solution. Place warm water in the bowl and let sit for about five to 10 minutes. You’ll start to notice that the seeds rise to the top of the bowl and the pumpkin bits sink to the bottom. When you’re happy with the separation, take the seeds out and lay them on a towel to dry.

“Where do jack o’lanterns live? In the seedy part of town.” - Unknown

Don’t miss this step. Believe me, I learned the hard way. If you roast them with the pumpkin guts still attached they won’t be crunchy after you bake them, they’ll be soft and chewy. When this happened to me, I placed them back in the oven for a second round but rather than harden, they burned.

This was because I got frustrated and used a high heat. Don’t roast your seeds on anything higher than 300. You want a nice slow roast for the ultimate crunchiness. If not, you’ll be fueled with frustration like I was. Especially since you took so many steps and time to get this far.  

Back to flavouring the seeds.

If you have people who like different flavours, no problem. All you have to do is section out your seeds in different piles and add the flavouring. To make things even easier, you can place them on the same baking pan. Just make sure you have room for separation between flavours so they don’t get mixed up.

Spread your seeds out evenly on the pan in a single layer. Roasting pumpkin seeds takes about 20 to 30 minutes. They should be a golden brown colour when done. If you choose to eat them right away, they might be a little chewy. I tend to wait until they have cooled off for that yummy crunch.

You can make a large batch of pumpkin seeds if you want as they keep well. Simply place them in an airtight container or mason jar. You don’t even have to put them in the fridge.

Homemade pumpkin seeds are definitely fit to eat. You can eat them like popcorn or chips, sprinkle them over yoghurt or ice cream.

Fa-boo-lous! This is also a great idea to keep the kiddies busy and let them get involved in making their own treat after carving pumpkins.

Erin Sulley is a self-confessed foodie who lives in Mount Pearl. Email erinmsulley@gmail.comTwitter: @ErinSulley Instagram: @erinsulley


RELATED:

Recent Stories