Carving Jack-o-lanterns is something most of us do around Halloween. While some pumpkins become amazing pieces of carved art, go turn into a simple basic smiling Jack-o-lantern. Whatever your pumpkins end up looking like, don’t forget to save those seeds! They can be planted for next Halloween’s pumpkins or roasted for a tasty, healthy snack.
Pumpkin seeds are filled with fiber and protein and are super easy to roast/toast. They taste great with just a bit of salt but also work well with an endless number of seasoning combinations. Don’t be afraid to try different varieties: some may sound a bit strange but end up tasting really good.
Basic recipe for toasting/roasting pumpkin seeds
1. Rinse pumpkin seeds under cold water and remove out the pulp and strings.
Tip: This is easiest if done as soon as the “guts” are taken out of the pumpkin. And a great job for the kiddos to do!
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
3. Spray cooking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
Betty Crocker Halloween Cookbook
4. Place pumpkin seeds in a single layer on prepared cooking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
5. Bake until toasted: normally 25-30 minutes. About half way through stir and add a bit more salt.
Note: Cooking times will vary depending on the amount of seeds, their size etc. so keep checking (and stirring and re-coating) every 10-15 minutes.
6. Keep seeds in an air-tight container after cooling
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Pumpkin Seeds Seasonings Variations
Nearly any spice or herb can be substituted for the salt or added to the salt. Just remember to stir and re-apply the seasonings halfway through.
If you’re looking for a little kick try a little cayenne pepper ~ simply sprinkle it on along with the salt. Adjust to your personal taste.
Cinnamon and salt may sound odd but the combination is really good! Try ¾ teaspoon of cinnamon to 1 teaspoon of salt. For a sweet/tart combo add a smaller amount of sugar to the mixture. Kiddos will like the cinnamon/sugar mixture minus the salt.
Garlic powder works really well and mixing it with seasoning salt gives the pumpkin seeds a bit more flavoring. In fact seasoning salt on its own works or for a change combine it with some lemon pepper.
For sweet tasting pumpkin seeds coat generously with sugar followed by a sprinkle of both salt and pumpkin pie spice.
Keep the sugar amount about 6 to 1 with the pumpkin pie spice and about half of that amount of salt.
If you aren’t concerned about calories or cholesterol, melt a cube of butter and toss the pumpkin seeds and spices together in the butter before toasting/roasting. It works really well with garlic powder or finely grated Parmesan cheese.
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