Friday, November 9, 2012

Back to Basics : Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Remember a few weeks ago when we made those delicious stuffed acorn squash? I hope you didn't throw away the seeds, since they make a wonderful little snack! Healthy, flavorful and prevents food waste? Those are three of my favorite qualities in a dish!
These little guys are so easy to make, and if your house is anything like mine, they definitely won't last long either! I love that they're low fat, low carb, high protein and unprocessed!

Feel free to put a sprinkling of any spice combination you like! Here are some of my favorites, which I tend to keep pretty simple with just a few ingredients, otherwise you can't even taste the rich nuttiness of the seeds:

-Plain ol' salt and peppahhh
-Garlic powder and chili powder
-Lime juice and cumin
-Cinnamon and sugar
-Lemon juice and Old Bay
-Rosemary (minced) and sea salt

Be aware that each pumpkin/squash has different amounts of seeds on the inside, which will affect how much oil and seasonings you need to use. Just remember that you only need enough oil to barely coat the seeds, and adding too much will prevent the seeds from toasting properly. So as far as it goes for oil and seasoning, start with too little, and work your way up after you taste test a raw seed.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Recipe from my family/friends/various cookbooks over several years

Raw pumpkin/squash seeds
Seasonings of your choice- about 1-2 teaspoon each seasoning per 1 cup of seeds
1 teaspoon olive oil per 1 cup seeds

Heat your oven to 425°F. Remove as many strings and "connective tissue" from the seeds as you can, rinse well under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. In a bowl big enough to toss the seeds, add as much olive oil as prescribed above and toss to coat. The seeds should just barely be coated, not sopping wet with oil.  Add in half of the seasonings you've prepared to use, toss to coat. Taste test a seed and see how you like it- the flavors will intensify just slightly during the roasting process, so keep that in mind. If you're satisfied with the taste as is, stop there. If not, add in just a little more seasoning at a time until you get the right mix you're after.

Once the oil/seasoning ratios are correct for your palate, spread the seeds over a cookie sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Roast at 425° for 30-45 minutes, until toasted and crunch, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent burning. Cool and chow down!

Extra seeds (pppfffhhh, yeah right!) will keep for about a week in an airtight container. I promise they won't last that long.

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