Halloween only comes once a year, and thus most people only buy a pumpkin once a year to carve it. On this occasion, instead of simply discarding the seeds that are removed in the carving process, it is quite easy to roast them with spices for a tasty snack. When I was a child, enjoying this treat once a year was a key part of the spooky season.
For each of the 3 ways below, the introductory steps are the same. Feel free to experiment with other spices and combinations, too; these are merely suggestions.
- Pumpkin seeds (amount will vary based on pumpkin size)
- Olive oil (enough to lightly coat seeds)
- For plain salted and curry seeds:
- For curry seeds:
- Curry powder
- Chili powder
- Crushed red pepper
- For cinnamon sugar seeds:
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC.
- If you have not already done so, carefully remove other pumpkin innards from the seeds (it won’t hurt you, but it will not taste as good). Rinse the seeds in a sieve.
- Spread out the seeds on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Lightly spread olive oil on the seeds, tossing them to coat lightly but avoid having pools of oil.
- Note: Do NOT use aluminum foil; aluminum foil reacts with salt and will pit and produce aluminum salts which negatively affect the flavor of the food.
- Spread your choice of spice blend (see ingredients list above) over the seeds, again being careful not to add too much (which will burn). A good rule of thumb is to make sure each seed has a little of the blend on it but is not coated and does not have large clumps. Toss the seeds again to make sure the spice is evenly distributed on both sides.
- Note: Not sure which blend you like? You can bake multiple on the same sheet (keeping them physically separated) and try them all, or bake smaller test batches.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes to ensure that they bake evenly. Fully baked pumpkin seeds will have a crunchy texture throughout.
- Pumpkin seeds can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Ideally, they should be stored in a cool, dry place.