Sunday, October 28, 2012

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Yesterday was the perfect day to go to the pumpkin patch and pick out some pumpkins for Jack O' Lanterns. There is a pumpkin patch right next door at a local church so we took my step-son, Hayden, to go pick one out. While I am glad that the money we spent on our $8 pumpkin went to a good cause, I was less than pleased to learn that it was pretty much rotten. (after we had purchased it.) We ended up buying two more pumpkins of the same size for a little less than $8. Lesson learned. (Neither were rotten.)

Once we came home, we carved our pumpkins, which was fun and messy. Thankfully I had an assistant! While we were cleaning out the innards of our pumpkin I felt my old Girl Scout days coming back to haunt me. I had a recollection of roasted pumpkin seeds so I decided to try my hand at making my own batch. How hard could it be? Hard enough to want to google search and consult pinterest? Of course!

I loved this article because it was a lot more helpful than anything I found on Pinterest. (I ended up pinning it.)

I liked that step five was explained well. On most of the pins I found no one really explained why you should soak the seeds in saltwater and most actually blew it off more or less.  "The salt water deactivates enzyme inhibitors in the seeds; those enzyme inhibitors can irritate your stomach, and removing them allows the production of more vitamins in the seeds. Many traditional groups like the Aztecs soak pumpkin/squash seeds in salt water before dehydrating them. Many people also find that doing this dramatically improves the flavor of the seeds."

Would we have died had I not chosen to soak my seeds? I doubt it. Most people said they can't notice a difference, but why go through the trouble of google searching and Pinterest scouring if you aren't going to do the job right? So I soaked my seeds over night and then proceeded step six. Do not be over zealous as I was. I had a layer of paper towels under the seeds and a layer on top of the seeds. A lot of seeds adhered themselves to the top layer and I spent a few minutes peeling them off and ended up re-soaking them in hopes of getting the paper towel shards off . Bottom layer: good. Top layer: bad!

Once I was done re-soaking and re-drying my seeds I had to figure out how I wanted my seeds to taste. Sweet or Savory? I hate making such a hard decision so I made both!

The pin above relies on brown sugar, cinnamon and salt to make up the flavor profile while the pin  below calls for celery salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, a pinch cayenne and Kosher salt.

Both seemed delicious to me. As a bonus, that last pin has directions on how to make homemade pumpkin puree. I think I might try that come Thanksgiving time! I am awfully curious whether it will taste better than out of a can. I am guessing that without the preservatives and ingredients I can't pronounce, the answer will be YES!!!!

I had two cups of pumpkin seeds so I made one  cup of each recipe. I did not have celery salt for my savory recipe so I doubled up on onion powder and sprinkled some course salt on top. While I was mixing the ingredients for the sweet batch it took a lot of will power not to drink the buttery mix and skip the sweet pumpkin seed  batch all together.

I decided to go low and slow on my seeds because I did not want to wait 8 hours to let my seeds fully dry out. I set the oven at 300 degrees and kept an eye on them.  Here is your before shot: Sweet is on the left, savory is on the right.
While these babies were in the oven my apartment smelled like heaven! After about 45 minutes I did a taste test and the seeds were toasted to perfection. I can't tell you which tasted better because they were both very delicious! Below is the result of my pumpkin seed roasting. I wish there were a scratch 'n sniff application for this picture.

I wanted to roast these seeds in part, to relive a little of my youth, waste less after carving our pumpkin and to have a tasty, healthy snack to take to work for my three P.M. slump. (Although I am concerned that any will be left to take to work after I tasted them.) While these bad boys were baking I googled the health benefits of eating pumpkin seeds. I was pretty happy to learn that pumpkin seeds help lower LDL cholesterol, are a good source of vitamins K, E, B and Zinc. They are anti-inflammatory without the side affects of pills and are alkaline forming, I read all that HERE. If you want  a few more reasons you can take a look at this article I pinned:

Source: via Tiffany on Pinterest

Either way, if you decide to roast your pumpkin seeds or not.... Have a Happy Halloween from our home to yours!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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