Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Usually, at this time of year, the family and I are up on our northern trapline, staying warm and cozy in our cabin while the snow falls and the lake freezes over. This year however had some unexpected changes in plans. You can read all about it on my Trapper's Wife, Trapper's Life blog.
Halloween on the trapline either meant staying at the cabin and having our own little Halloween Party, or traveling the 15km by snowmobile or atv to the road and then driving into Watson Lake, Yukon, where our youngest son, Zac, can go trick or treating.  We usually take a smallish pumpkin with us when we head up in early October, something not available in Watson Lake.  We use the pumpkin first for a jack o lantern, then roast the seeds,  and then eat the pumpkin itself. Nothing wasted!
We LOVE pumpkin seeds!  
This year, knowing we weren't going to be heading north, Zac was able to go to the little town of Keremeos, BC, and pick out his pumpkin from the huge assortment available at the fruit stands there. He was after a huge one! He looked over the selection carefully until he found the one he thought was perfect.

Zac patiently waited until this week to carve his pumpkin and wanted to do it all on his own. Well, he is 12 now, after all.  I guess we have to let them grow up sometime, sigh.  He did an awesome job too!  He even cleaned it all up afterwards AND washed the seeds! So proud!
Now we get to the Roasted Pumpkin Seed part!

Because Zac had so kindly cleaned the pumpkin seeds for me, I was able to start off with getting them dry. To clean yours off all you need to do is seperate the seeds from all the bits and pieces of pumpkin flesh and give them a good rinse with cold water. I find it easiest to put the seeds into a
colander and let the water wash over them. When you've got them as clean as you like (it's ok to have little orange strings attached, it's all edible!), then spread the seeds out on a cookie sheet that you have oiled or sprayed with non stick spray. I use parchment paper that I spray lightly on mine. This helps later when you need to move the seeds. You can simply pick up the parchment and let the seeds slide off into the bowl!

Next, pop those seeds into a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes. Set your timer!  This will dry them off as well as begin the toasting process.
When they come out of the oven, put them into a bowl or any container that will hold them. I use a covered glass container so I can shake them up really good.

Now add about a teaspoon or 2 of olive oil and salt. It depends on ow salty you like things as to how much to add. I use sea salt in a grinder, so my measurement is only approximate, but I'd say about 1/4
 Shake or stir the seeds up until they are well coated with the oil and salt.
Now they go back on the cookie sheet and back into the oven for another 10 minutes.
When they come out try to let them cool a bit before you start sampling!

Depending on your own taste, you can add all kinds of flavours to your seeds. Salt is only the beginning. Try cinnamon and sugar for a sweet treat! Maybe add some pepper to your salt. How about salt and chili powder? Or maybe oregano and parmesan cheese for an Italian flavour? Your imagination and taste buds are the limit!  Delicious!!
Now, you may wonder if there is any benefit to eating pumpkin seeds. I'm happy to say there is! Pumpkins seeds, especially still in the hull, are a good source of zinc. They also contain vitamin E. The website The World's Healthiest Foods is a good source for information on the benefits of eating pumpkin seeds.
I hope you'll give roasting pumpkin seeds from your pumpkin a try. Maybe start a new Halloween tradition! 
Happy Halloween!!

1 comment:

  1. I've been having lately an addiction with salted pumpkin seeds I bought at a local store, it's so cool to know that I can make my own roasted. Thanks for the tip! :-) hugs


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