Monday, November 3, 2008

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

Another goblin-glaring, spirit-spooking, monster-mashing day has come and gone. My son the Human Whirlwind dressed up like a Clone Trooper from Star Wars. We went to some friends’ house for trick-or-treating and Halloween hi-jinx and had a great time.

As usual, we didn’t let food allergies slow us down – for dinner, the kids had safe hot dogs wrapped in safe Pillsbury breadsticks so they looked like mummies… um, the hot dogs looked like mummies, that is – not the kids. (The grown-ups opted for hamburgers instead of hot dog mummies.) We also had Bush’s Baked Beans (no milk, eggs, or nuts), Jell-O Jigglers in Halloween shapes, chips and salsa, and safe carrot cake cupcakes with icing decorated like pumpkin faces and spider webs.

We didn’t go hungry. Somehow, we never do!

Every once in a while, I like to try something new, so this year I decided to roast the pumpkin seeds that I pulled out of the jack-o-lanterns that my son and I carved the night before Halloween. I’ve never tried it before, but they turned out pretty tasty. After reading a bunch of different recipes, I combined the best ideas of all of them, and this is what I came up with. If you still have pumpkins sitting on your porch that you never got around to carving (I still have several), open them up and roast the seeds for a savory snack. Bring a bowlful to your next gathering and watch how fast they vanish into thin air!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 quart water
2 Tbsp salt
2 cups pumpkin seeds (about one large-ish pumpkin’s yield)
2 Tbps safe margarine or olive oil
1 tsp garlic salt (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp regular salt)
1 tsp seasoned salt

Pull the seeds out of the pumpkin, removing as much of the strings as possible. Rinse. Bring the water and 2 Tbsp of salt to a boil, then add the pumpkin seeds and boil for 10 minutes. Drain, spread out on paper towels, and dry overnight.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a saucepan or skillet, melt the safe margarine. Remove from heat and add the pumpkin seeds to the melted margarine. Sprinkle with the seasonings and stir thoroughly, so that all the seeds are coated. Spread evenly in a single layer on a large cookie sheet.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until crisp and golden. Let cool. Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

Some people like to eat them shell and all. Others like to remove the shell first, like sunflower seeds, and eat only the green soft seed inside. Either method is tasty – it’s up to you!

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