I’m a big fan of fall. The weather has cooled down, the leaves are turning and it’s time to carve those pumpkins. I’m not sure what I was more excited about as a kid- the pumpkin carving or the trick-or-treating. We grew our own pumpkins and thus had a large selection of pumpkins to choose from when it was carving time. My dad would help us cut off the tops of the pumpkins so we could clean out all of the “guts”. We (my siblings and I) liked to get creative with the carvings- we would get stencils and carve out Halloween scenes onto the pumpkins. My brother’s pumpkins always turned out the best (which shhhhh he doesn’t need to know!); after we were done carving our pumpkins they were set out on the front porch and lit with a candle. Then we’d gather in the kitchen and eat the delicious pumpkin seeds that my mom roasted.
Roasted pumpkin seeds are not only taste great, they are also very healthy! Once they are roasted, pumpkin seeds can be stored into plastic baggies and brought to school or work as a convenient snack.
Here are some easy directions to roast pumpkin seeds:
1. Rinse pumpkin seeds under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings. This is easiest just after you’ve removed the seeds from the pumpkin, before the pulp has dried. Spread the seeds out on a dish towel in a single layer and allow to dry.
2. Place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or covered in aluminum foil (for quick clean-up).
3. Sprinkle with seasonings and bake at 325 degrees F until toasted, about 25 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes. Seasonings to consider: cinnamon and sugar, pumpkin pie spice, garlic powder and black pepper or plain sea salt. They can be served sweet or savory!
4. Let cool and store in an air-tight container.
When it’s time to carve your pumpkins, remember to roast the seeds for a fresh, tasty snack that will be a hit with the whole family. To make it even more fun, try a variety of seasonings, which your kids can help you pick out. Let’s get roasting!