Three Ways to Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Three ways to toasted pumpkin seeds

I’ll admit, reaching into the depths of a pumpkin to de-gut it is not my favorite thing to do. It’s slimy, it’s sticky, and it feels like one of those mystery boxes at haunted houses where you put your hands in and they tell you it’s a pile of brains.

But deep in the innards are the edible seeds of Cucurbita pepo, a family of squash that includes pumpkins, acorn squash, summer squash, and zucchini. The seeds from all of these cucurbits are equally edible, but I tend to come across pumpkin seeds more often, since one carving pumpkin will yield at least a couple of cups. And if your whole house is sculpting and slicing up pumpkins, you’ll have enough seeds to do them up three different ways.

Once I got over the initial trepidation that a pumpkin could grow inside of me if I swallowed the seeds (a tale told to me by numerous adults when I was 5, tales that also included watermelon seeds and sunflower seeds), I grew to love toasted pumpkin seeds. Salt and butter were all that I needed (and is still a classic no-fail recipe in my book), but I also love to experiment with different seasonings. Here are three of my favorite recipes — and favorite way to eat them? Handfuls at a time, washed down with a cold pumpkin ale!

I like to brine my seeds before toasting, though this step isn’t totally necessary if your pumpkin-carving party guests are anxious to indulge. I feel it gives the seeds a good crunch when they’re toasted and infuses them with a subtle salty flavor that serves as a nice base for other spices. The brine bath also removes the rest of the stringy guts from the seeds so you don’t have to rinse them before toasting.

Preparation for all recipes below

Remove as much of the pulp as possible from your pumpkin seeds. In a small saucepan, bring 3 cups water and 2 tablespoons fine-grained salt to a boil (a drizzle of oil also helps to prevent boil-over). Add 1 cup pumpkin seeds and boil for 10 minutes.

Strain the seeds and shake dry, then toast using one of the recipes below.

Remove as much pulp as possible from your seeds

Brine the seeds for 10 minutes

Strain seeds and shake dry

Spread seeds across a baking sheet in a single layer

Toasted pumpkin seeds

Garlic pumpkin seeds

Garlic Pumpkin Seeds
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Method

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium-sized bowl, toss the pumpkin seeds with oil, Worcestershire, and garlic.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (not necessary, but helpful for scooping the seeds off later). Spread the seeds across the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the seeds are golden on all sides. Larger seeds take longer to toast and vice versa, so be sure to keep an eye on them to avoid burning. Generally, I know the seeds are properly toasted when I hear the shells start to pop.

Curried pumpkin seeds

Curried Pumpkin Seeds
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
2 teaspoons curry powder

Method

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium-sized bowl, toss the pumpkin seeds with oil and curry.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (not necessary, but helpful for scooping the seeds off later). Spread the seeds across the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the seeds are golden on all sides. Larger seeds take longer to toast and vice versa, so be sure to keep an eye on them to avoid burning. Generally, I know the seeds are properly toasted when I hear the shells start to pop.

Sweet 'n spicy pumpkin seeds

Sweet ‘n Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Method

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium-sized bowl, toss the pumpkin seeds with oil and spices.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (not necessary, but helpful for scooping the seeds off later). Spread the seeds across the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the seeds are golden on all sides. Larger seeds take longer to toast and vice versa, so be sure to keep an eye on them to avoid burning. Generally, I know the seeds are properly toasted when I hear the shells start to pop.

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October 23 2013      34 comments     Linda Ly
En La Cocina   Semillas

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