Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Pumpkin seeds
Carving pumpkins is a tradition for nearly everyone I know. When I was little, my mom would save the seeds, rinse them, soak them in a salt-laden bowl of water overnight and then bake them. They were a treat then, but I’ve discovered a much tastier way to enjoy those seeds.
There are a variety of methods to toast/roast your pumpkin seeds. While I don’t soak the daylights out of my seeds, I do clean them up a bit, but I don’t get too shook if there’s still some goop on them!
I lightly salt mine then spread them on a baking sheet, pop them in at 250 for about an hour. NOW comes the fun part….
For this batch, I mixed 2 Tbsp of sugar with about 2 tsp. Of Chinese five spice and 1 tsp. Of cayenne pepper. I like mine with a little heat. Set this mixture aside. Heat about 1 tbsp. Of peanut oil, canola works fine. Toss your baked seeds in the oil with 1 tbsp. of sugar to caramelize, stirring constantly. This takes about a minute. Strain the seeds from the oil and then stir them into your sugar, Chinese five spice and cayenne mix. Let cool and wahlah! Spicy pumpkin seeds for the adult taste. Toasting them in this way you won’t have that woody texture we used to get by just roasting them.
You can mix up your own concoctions. For 2 cups of pumpkins seeds, I mixed 3 tbsp. sugar, some ground ginger, cinnamon, salt and cayenne in a bowl. After the pumpkin seeds baked, I put a tbsp. of sesame oil in a pan (heated it up to med high) and then put the pumpkin seeds in it with 2 tbsp. sugar. BE CAREFUL – THE SEEDS MAY POP ON YOU! Stirring constantly for about 1 min until the sugar caramelized. I then mixed them in the bowl with the ginger/cinnamon/cayenne/sugar.
This advice comes from The Lemon Bowl: Heavier pumpkins = more seeds. Boil the seeds first to ensure even baking. Since the inside of the pumpkin seed takes longer to cook than the shell, boiling them in a bit of salty water ensures a crispy pumpkin seed that won’t be burnt.
Here’s another recipe I love:
- 2 c. pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tbsp. melted butter
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar (next time I’ll add another tablespoon)
- 2 drops hot pepper sauce (I used Sirachi and will add at least 2 more drops, I like it warmer!)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line baking pan with aluminum foil. Stir together the seeds and butter in a bowl. Add salt, Worcestershire, brown sugar and hot sauce, stir. Spread the seeds in a single layer. Bake for 45 minutes. They won’t seem crispy at first but take them out, mine crisped up nicely.
For fresh pumpkin pie, buy a “pie” or “sugar” pumpkin. These are usually marked and always smaller in size. Check out my Recipes tab for a pie recipe and more pumpkin seed recipes!