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I love all the things associated with Fall. Sweater weather, the sound of rustling leaves, wearing jeans again, the smell of woodsmoke in the air. Soups and stews, hot chocolate and pumpkin pie. Speaking of pumpkins, I like pumpkin, eating pumpkin, carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds that come out of the carved pumpkins…I guess by now they would be Jack-O-Lanterns.
I think most people scoop out their pumpkins and throw all the “guts” in the garbage…or as I’ve seen on the internet, they spill out of the mouth of the carved pumpkin. I’m going to show you how to gather the seeds and roast them in the oven, adding some interesting new flavors, just to shake it up a bit.
Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
Carving your Pumpkin:
Here’s a list of things that will come in handy for this project:
1. Variety of knives (assuming you will carve after gutting) Heavy, sturdy, filet, pairing….
2. Large metal spoon for scraping out the seeds and gunk
3. Bowl for the seeds
4. Garbage Bag cut open along one side and bottom
5. Colander for rinsing seeds
8. Sharpie Marker and paper to design your pumpkin face
- On a table or countertop, take some scissors or a knife and cut the bottom out of the garbage bag and up the side to open it flat on your surface
- Using a sturdy knife (medium to large) cut a circle out of the BOTTOM of the pumpkin (see photos) It’s easier to put your Jack-O-Lantern over the candle than reach inside and try to balance it and then light it. Yup, it works!
- With your metal spoon, start scooping the “guts” and seeds out. As you do so, scrape the sides of the inside to remove all the stingy membrane
- Once on the plastic, separate the seeds, putting them in a bowl. Throw away the fibrous strands (that’s the proper word for it).
- Continue on with carving your pumpkin face. Practice on paper and then, using your marker, draw the face on the pumpkin. When you’re done, using a sharp narrow knife, start the cutting. Use different sized knives to cut larger and smaller, more delicate cuts so you’re not disappointed when you have no eyeballs or lose a tooth.
- Make a vent hole on the top to the side of the stem. That’s for the heat from the candle
- For your light source you can use a glow stick, votive candle or other light source. Be careful. Light your candle (or whatever you’re using), turn out the lights and enjoy
Roasting Your Seeds:
1. Put your seeds in the colander and wash under cool water. You’re just trying to get the last of
the membrane off
2. Pat them dry with dish towel or paper towel
3. Line cookie sheets with foil
4. Divide seeds up into bowls, depending on how many flavors you’ll want to try.
- Parmesan Garlic: Mix 2 TBSP Parmesan Cheese, 2 tsp Garlic Powder and 2 tsp Salt
Buffalo Wing: 1 TBSP Melted Butter, 2 TBSP Red Hot Sauce, 1/2 tsp Salt, 1 tsp chili Powder and 2 TBSP Lime Juice
- Salt and Vinegar: 1 tsp Salt and 1 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar (I used White Balsamic Vinegar)
- Blackberry Salt and Vinegar: 1 tsp Salt and 1 TBSP Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar
- Pumpkin Pie: 1 tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp Ginger, 1 tsp Salt, 1/8 tsp Cloves and 1 TBSP Sugar
- Ranch: 1 TBSP Minced Chives, 1 tsp Parsley, 1 tsp Salt, 1 tsp Garlic Powdered and 1/2 tsp Pepper
- Cinnamon Sugar: 1 tsp Cinnamon and 1 TBSP Sugar
- Classic: 2 tsp Salt and 1 TBSP Oil
1. In smaller bowls, mix together spices. Toss the pumpkin seeds with spices. You can bake them in a muffin tin with the flavors separated or you can fold your foil and make separations on your baking sheet like I did.
2. Bake at 325 for about 10 minutes, then stir gently and bake for another 10. Check again, stirring and bake for another 10. The cook time can depend on the size of the seeds so you be the judge.
3. Take out of the oven, cool and enjoy!
They turned out really well, and I was surprised which ones I liked! The Blackberry Balsamic was a favorite as well as the Parmesan Garlic. I still prefer the Classic Salt and Oil…..so which one was your favorite? Did you come up with a few twists? Let me know how yours turned out and any flavors I might want to try. Enjoy and have fun!