Perhaps you don't need to know how to roast your own pumpkin seeds because, after all, today is Halloween and you carved your pumpkins long ago.
But we're running a bit behind schedule this year.
I am 6 weeks pregnant, tired beyond belief and sick as a dog. Halloween preparations have been low on the priority list the past couple of weeks.
In addition, we seem to have been struck by some mysterious flu bug, working its way through the family this weekend. People seem to be awfully sick for about 12 hours and then feel amazingly better.
Needless to say, Halloween preparations have been low on the list this weekend.
But this morning while Daddy was sick and still asleep, and Lilly, just starting to feel bad, was laying on the couch watching Peter Pan, James, William and I carved the pumpkins. Pumpkins just purchased yesterday. Better late than never, and just as much fun as it always is.
I love to carve pumpkins. Besides costumes, it is the best part of Halloween. I don't go in much for the spooky stuff, scary movies and all the store bought decorations. But a glowing jack o lantern is something I love.
And I have, for as long as I can remember.
See that pumpkin carving knife? We had one just like it when I was a kid. It was just for carving pumpkins and I loved using it year after year. This might even be the same knife. Maybe my mom gave it to me when I grew up and moved out? She does that sometimes
And each year, we scooped the goop out of our pumpkins and saved it all in a bowl.
Once the pumpkins were carved, we washed the seeds free of their pumpkin slime, or as clean as we could get them cause some of that stuff never comes off, then set them on paper towels to dry a bit.
Then we'd oil, salt and pop them in the oven to roast them.
The smell of roasting pumpkin seeds is fantastic.
I still roast pumpkin seeds every year. Even this one.
Because it is just so easy and worthwhile.
Not to mention they are incredibly delicious.
As soon as they came out of the oven, I enjoyed a plate full. If I liked beer, and if I wasn't pregnant, I am sure they'd taste perfect with a tall, cold glass of beer. I tried them with root beer and it was pretty wonderful.
Even if you threw out your seeds long ago, bookmark this for next year, or make some for a Thanksgiving appetizer. Pumpkins work beyond Halloween, you know.
Simple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Empty a fresh pumpkin of all its seeds.
Wash seeds in a large bowl of water and clean off as much pumpkin "slime" as you can.
Drain seeds in a colander and rinse a bit under cold, running water.
Lay pumpkin seeds in a single layer on dry paper towels.
Let dry for at least an hour.
Put seeds in a bowl and drizzle with enough olive oil to coat each seed. (I don't measure--but I'd guess at least at least a table spoon or 2)
Sprinkle generously with kosher salt (please, please use kosher or sea salt--it tastes so much better than regular table salt)
I also like to sprinkle with a bit of paprika. I think it looks pretty.
Give the seeds a good stir and then pour in a single layer of a cookie sheet. (I find my baking stone works really well for this, but a regular cookie sheet works fine too.)
Roast in a 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.
Do not over cook, as the seeds will all taste bad if they are the slightest bit burnt.
Wait as long as you can for them to cool (about 1 minute for me) and then, enjoy!
Confession: For a very long time, I did not realize you were not supposed to eat the shell of pumpkin seeds. I don't know why I didn't know this. I don't eat the shells of sunflower seeds.
Maybe it's because when you roast your own pumpkin seeds, the shell is quite soft and goes down very easily. It doesn't really taste like a shell to me at all. A little extra fiber, right?
But Aaron thinks I am crazy.
All the more for me, I say.
Happy Halloween everyone!