The thing I look forward to most about carving pumpkins is cleaning and eating the seeds! We got quite a few from our two pumpkins this year, and I decided to be a little adventurous in their flavoring. Normally, I would just toss them with salt and roast them, but this year I tried some different seasonings. The steps are the same, just vary the seasoning to your tastes and what you have in your spice cabinet. Be creative!
This year, I made:
Salted - the old stand-by, spray with cooking spray and toss with salt
Cinnamon Sugar - a sweet treat! Toss with a little bit of melted butter and then some cinnamon, and sugar, with a touch of nutmeg, ginger, and ground cloves thrown in (or pumpkin pie spice)
Garlic Parmesan - A savory treat! Spray with cooking spray and toss with garlic powder, parmesan cheese, and a touch of salt
Hot - A spicy treat! Spray with cooking spray and toss with salt and a little (or a lot) of cayenne pepper
There are a lot of other combos that would work. Italian herbs, cajun spices... the possibilities are endless!Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
pumpkin seeds, cleaned well
cooking spray, oil, or butter
seasonings of choice
1. Separate pumpkin seeds from pumpkin guts. Place in a colander and rinse WELL. Try to remove as much orange stuff as possible (a little won't hurt you).
2. Spread the seeds out on a paper towel and pat dry. (Mostly dry anyways).
3. Heat oven to 300 deg F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
4. Toss seeds with oil or butter (or just give them a good spray of cooking spray). Then toss with seasonings (I put the seasoning in a sandwich size Ziploc and tossed them that way). Vary the amount of seasoning you have to the amount of seeds. Generally, you need a couple tablespoons of seasoning to ~1/2 cup of seeds. The exception here is strong flavors - you don't want too much salt or too much cayenne. Spread seeds on baking sheet in a single layer.
5. Roast seeds at 300 deg F for 30-40 minutes, flipping/tossing them about halfway through. Seeds are done when they don't taste soft in the middle, but watch so they don't brown too much.
I am very pleased with the flavor combos I tried. The spicy seeds aren't too hot, and the parmesan garlic seeds had a great taste to them (got this idea from the sauce at Buffalo Wild Wings). When I mentioned a sweet option with cinnamon and sugar, Josh said I was on my own. These are actually really good! I only wish I had more pumpkin seeds to make some more!
And if you are wondering what I carved this year... well, I took the easy way out. But aren't these just adorable?