Thursday, October 31, 2013

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater!!

This time of year, as the chill begins to fill the air, the leaves are turning color...(Only in my mind, of course, because I'm in Phoenix, and my cactus and palm trees don't change with the seasons)...I am lured into a warm, cozy state of mind.

Autumn brings along with its early sunsets, the promise of hearty foods and holiday treats, with every passing week. And this week I purchased two big pumpkins, thumped for hollowness in hopes of a great harvest of raw seeds to roast!

For as long as I can remember, my mother made these incredibly delicious and addictive roasted pumpkin seeds. Long before I knew how healthy they were, I was chewing down on handfuls of these scrumptious bits of magic!

The recipe was given to her by our dear family friend, Pat Lyons, who I love for many wonderful reasons, and these pumpkin seeds are way up there on my list! They are easy to make, other then the gooey mess you find yourself in, while you fish them out of the soggy fibrous guts of the pumpkin. 

But I promise you, you better make a big batch, because you aren't going to believe how delicious they are! They aren't even a distant relative to the nasty packaged ones available for purchase.

Perfect Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Makes: Approx. 1½ cups of seeds per large pumpkin

Several Organic Pumpkins to harvest for seeds (use pumpkin meat for soup or bread!)
Organic unsalted butter (2-3 T. for an entire skillet full of seeds, just enough to moisten, not drown)
Garlic powder.  
Onion salt
*Other variations of spices can be used for a completely different flavor, such as spicy seeds by adding cayenne pepper, or Cajun seeds using alternate seasoning. 

Clean pumpkin seeds from gooey pumpkin meat and fibers.  Rinse and soak seeds for 1 hour in cold water.  Drain seeds and dry with paper towels.  Spread onto a cookie sheet (or several if you’ve decided to make a large batch). Sprinkle seeds with salt and spread on cookie sheet to dry overnight. *This is very important. Do not skip this step!! Seeds must dry out before proceeding to next step. 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a large skillet over medium heat, fry seeds in butter (but do not drown…only a small amount of butter is necessary). Add seasonings to taste; continuing to cook for 4-5 minutes. 

Spread seeds onto a baking sheet and Bake in 300 degree oven for 15 minutes or until brown, dry and crispy. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks….but they won’t last that long in my house!

*If necessary, crisp in broiler, watching carefully for 1-2 minutes…but I’ve never had to do it, as they have been crispy and delicious without needing time in the broiler.

Happy Halloween with Sugarplum Hugs!


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