It’s the time of year to start carving out those pumpkins in any number of fantastic designs and shapes — even just plain jack-o-lanterns. When you’re sitting on the floor with your arms up to the elbow in pumpkin guts, remember to separate and keep those seeds! Fixed properly, they’re a low-calorie, high-mineral snack that’s just irresistible and recommended by the World Health Organization as a tasty way to get your zinc!
Everywhere on the internet and in health magazines you can read about the benefits of eating pumpkin seeds, and it’s easy to incorporate them into your diet: in cookies, on salads, as a snack. While pumpkin seeds are available year-round in the grocery and health food stores, why not take advantage of making your own? It’s easy to do, and the aroma in your house will almost be reward in itself.
Seed the pumpkin: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Using a spoon, scrape the pulp and seeds out of your pumpkin into a bowl.
Clean the seeds: Separate the seeds from the stringy pulp, rinse the seeds in a colander under cold water, then shake dry. Don’t blot with paper towels; the seeds will stick.
Dry them: Spread the seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet and roast 30 minutes to dry them out.
Add spices: Toss the seeds with olive oil, salt and your choice of spices (see below). Return to the oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 20 more minutes.
Sweet Toss with cinnamon and sugar (do not use salt in step 4).
Indian Toss with garam masala; mix with currants after roasting.
Spanish Toss with smoked paprika; mix with slivered almonds after roasting.
Italian Toss with grated parmesan and dried oregano.
Barbecue Toss with brown sugar, chipotle chile powder and ground cumin.
Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine