14 October 2013

Taste of Fall: Pumpkin Seeds

We bought three smallish pie pumpkins to make Alton Brown's Whole Pumpkin Pie Soup.  While making that, it occurred to me that my kids had never had roasted pumpkin seeds.  I'm not a big fan, but wanted to see if we could make this work (I'm doing whatever I can to make it feel like autumn, even as we plant our garden, get our bikes out of storage, and ready the yard for spending more time outdoors).

I turned to my trusted friend, Google, and found this recipe.  Turns out, jack-o-lantern seeds don't roast as well as pie pumpkin seeds.  Who knew?  The only time I think I'd ever had pumpkin seeds, they'd come from jack-o-lantern pumpkins.

I'm a big fan of soaking and drying nuts, and this recipe called for boiling the seeds in salt water before roasting them.  Hmmmm...maybe not identical, but I'll take it.  The comments all gushed over how crispy they'd turned out and how wonderful they are.

I soaked the pumpkin guts in water to separate the seeds, which float.  It was a fairly simple operation and not too messy.  I saved the rest of the guts for our chickens (they feasted that afternoon).

Since we had the pumpkins in the big oven, I roasted the seeds in my countertop convection oven.  This worked well; the little oven really doesn't get as hot as the big oven does, which reduced the chance of burning.

And, since the oven is so much smaller, I divided the seeds into three batches.  I substituted coconut oil for the olive oil called for in the recipe.  Onto one, I sprinkled some Redmond Real Salt.  Onto another, I sprinkled some Spice House Vadouvan curry seasoning and salt.  Onto the third, I sprinkled coconut crystals, cinnamon, and a little salt.  The last are my favorite!  As much as I love the Vadouvan in curry, I didn't like it on the seeds, but the kids did and munched while they cleaned up after dinner, so nothing was wasted.  I'm saving the plain salted ones to add to my next batch of copycat KIND bars.

I want to make some pumpkin purée à la AB (for soups, pumpkin spiced lattes, and maybe, if I can find a recipe I like, pie), so we'll be purchasing some more pie pumpkins in the coming weeks and I'm looking forward to more munching on the roasted seeds.


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