Monday, September 13, 2010

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

(c) 2010, Kathy Fannon

I love summer and it’s been a fabulous one! The warm air, sunshine, and farmer’s market all make me happy. Then September arrived and overnight it got cold and rainy. I’m not ready for this.

Saturday, I made my regular bi-weekly trip to the farmer’s market with my list of what I need until I go back on Wednesday. At the first booth, I bought onions and broccoli. As I was putting my change away my husband asked, “Do you want a pumpkin?” Uh, no! It’s not time for that yet!

We stopped at our other usual places and I had some cash left over, so we went back and bought one small pie pumpkin. I do like to bake ‘em, mash ‘em, and freeze ‘em for when I make soup in the winter, so I may as well get a jump start on that.

It was cold, cloudy and rainy on Saturday, the perfect day to stay in and roast tomatoes, pumpkin and pumpkin seeds.

I cut the top off the little pumpkin and pulled out a handful of seeds. They were slimy and gooey, but they smelled SO good! OK, so maybe this ‘fall’ thing won’t be so bad.

Pumpkin seeds have some great health benefits, and I’ve already put the call out to my friends to save their seeds for me if they don’t want them. Last year I had 2 sandwich size bags full of seeds and they only lasted until about mid-December. I need more this year!

Pumpkin seeds are anti-inflammatory and low glycemic, loaded with manganese, packed with zinc, and magnesium (which most Americans are deficient in), iron, copper, and protein. They reduce LDL cholesterol, and protect against cancers. They also contain vitamins B, C, D, E and K along with calcium, potassium and phosphorous.

Here’s how I roasted my seeds:

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • Rinse seeds well and take off all the pumpkin goop.

  • Spread on a cookie sheet to dry.  Overnight is best.  (Paper towels and paper bags work alright except the seeds will stick.  I discovered a cookie sheet works great!  No sticking!)

  • Put the seeds in a mixing bowl with some olive oil and salt. (I used about 1 T of oil for my little pie pumpkin.) Mix.

  • Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake at 325 for about 40 minutes, stirring a time or two. (I think I’d lower the heat and bake longer next time.)

Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!

2T of pumpkin seeds is one serving.

I love plain roasted pumpkin seeds, but they would also be great in a stir-fry, on a salad or in homemade granola.

Have you ever roasted pumpkin seeds? How did you do it? (You may have a better idea!)