Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Family Favorite Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Where there are Jack-o-lanterns:

There are pumpkin seeds.

My family loves roasted pumpkin seeds. Honestly, I could take 'em or leave 'em. I usually eat a few and then I'm done, but everyone else requests them every year. Needless to say, I've roasted my share of pumpkin seeds. I've roasted them several different ways, parboiling them first, not parboiling them first, roasting them at high temperature and at a lower temperature. I've used butter. I've used oil. All the methods will give you roasted pumpkin seeds, but the method that seems to work best and be enjoyed the most, at least by my family, is this:

1. Rinse the seeds really well and get all the orange gunk out (or at least 98% of it). It can take awhile, which is a pain, but worth doing. The pic above shows my seeds after being rinsed a few times by Jeff and then by me. I put them in a colander and stir periodically, pulling out any little bits of orange flesh that come up to the surface. Once most, if not all, of the pumpkin flesh is gone, continue to the next step.

2. Preheat the oven to 400. For every cup or so of pumpkin seeds you have, you want 4 cups of water boiling, and you want a good tablespoon of salt for every cup of seeds as well. It seems like a lot, but the flavor of the seeds will be worth it in the end. Put the seeds in the boiling, salted water, and boil them for 10 minutes. At high altitude, let them go 2 or 3 minutes longer. Drain the seeds well.

3. Some recipes use oil, and some use butter. Personally, I have found a mix of olive oil (which won't burn) and butter (for flavor) is best. Coat the seeds with the oil and melted butter--a total of a tablespoon or so for each cup of seeds. For 4 cups of seeds, add 2 T. of olive oil and 2 T. of melted butter. Add whatever seasoning you like. I usually just stick with a little more salt, about 1/4 teaspoon for every cup of seeds. Some people like to add seasoning salt or other seasoning such as garlic, but we're happy without.

4. Spread the oiled/buttered and salted seeds on a large baking sheet. For even roasting, spread evenly. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until the seeds are a nice golden brown color. Stir the seeds 3 or 4 times during that 20 minutes to make sure they roast evenly.

5. Remove the seeds to a large bowl to cool. Enjoy!

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