Monday, October 29, 2012

Johnny Pumpkin Seed

I know I said I was going to do a few sweet posts in a row. But you can't blame me for going back on that for this one post. More than likely, there's only a few days left before you'll come across the opportunity to make these. Not to mention the fact that they're downright addicting. 

And to be honest, I did try to make a sweet version, but I failed. And I failed bad. 

Don't look at me like that! I've never done this before! In my adult life, this is the first time I've ever carved a pumpkin (with my wife's help), let alone roasted pumpkin seeds.

Which, by the way, I think the carving went fairly well...

But I'm not here to talk pumpkin, I'm here to talk seeds. Addicting, little seeds. 

When I was getting advice, thinking, and researching on how to roast the seeds, I was getting crazy excited, finding a few recipes that sounded amazing. Like one with Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil and salt, or another with garlic and parmesan. Pumpkin seeds seem to be rather flexible. So I split up my batch and made one regular with salt and oil, and the other with butter, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, and brown sugar. Sadly, the sugar and spice one did not come out the way I was hoping. And by sadly, I mean if my kid wasn't there, I probably would have cried. But if I get my hands on some more seeds I'll give it another try.

I'll have to fight myself to not make the salt and oil ones again though. Because... Boy, oh boy...

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:

                                     2 cups ~ Pumpkin Seeds
                        2 tablespoons ~ Extra Virgin Olive Oil
         a good 1 1/2 teaspoons ~ Kosher or Sea Salt


  • Like I said, there are a bunch of different, tasty sounding recipes. But this seems like the go-to, can't beat method. So simple, so easy and so good. A few grinds of freshly cracked pepper would probably be welcomed, but other than that, it's pretty perfect.

Let's get to roastin'!:

  • First and foremost, you need to get the seeds out of the pumpkin. When you're scooping it out, put all of the innards in a big bowl.

  • Turn on the oven to 300. 

Now, I'm pretty sure I went about this the wrong way, because I spent a good 4 hours (the clock said 15 minutes, but I think it was on the fritz) trying to pick out all the seeds from the orange goop. I wanted to keep the stringy mess to puree it and make a pumpkin pie. But honestly, I don't have time for all that. Especially when I have 3 cans of the stuff in the pantry. But once I had freed all the seeds from their membrane prison, I filled up the bowl with water and watched all the seeds float to the top. So I guess I could have just done that from the beginning and saved me about 3 and a half freaking hours. 

  • So if you want to, go through and get all the big clumps of pumpkiny entrails out first. Then fill up the bowl with water and use a slotted spoon, spider, or just your hands to skim out the seeds into a strainer. If you're using the water method from the beginning, once the initial floaters are scooped, just rustle the sunken remains around until you loosen up the rest of the seeds. 

  • You'll notice the seeds are fairly slimy. You're not going to get much of anything to hold on to them like that, so what I did was lightly pat them dry with a paper towel (they're going to get stuck to the paper towel, so I hope the paper towel you're using isn't thin. If it is, then skip the paper towel), then put them on a parchment lined sheet tray and put them in the oven for 10 minutes. That dried them out perfectly for me without roasting them. Once they're done drying, turn the oven up to 350.

  • So once they're dried out, put them in a bowl and add the olive oil and salt then toss till they're coated. Once coated, arrange them in a single layer on a parchment lined sheet tray (I used the same one I dried them on). Put them in the 350 oven for about 20 - 30 minutes, making sure to take them out and shuffle them around every 10 minutes

Heck, if you want to experiment, go for the spiced version: 

Take 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ginger and 1/4 teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg, and mix it in the dried pumpkin seeds with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. I'm pretty sure where I went wrong was the brown sugar, so just leave that out and you should be fine. Let me know if it works.

Once they get a little golden, I took them out. If you want them a little darker and crispier, by all means keep them in a few minutes longer. But this works for me. 

I know it's going to be hard, but you have to wait till they cool down before you pop one in your mouth. I mean, you don't have to, but don't blame me when your mouth is blistered. 


  1. I seriously laughed out loud when you said "could have saved me three and half freaking hours!" hahah!

    I have tried pumpkin seeds once in my life, I think I liked them... I cannot be sure though, because I think I was pretty young. lol. But I don't think I could do them myself now... I can't even carve a pumpkin, the innards really gross me out the door!! lol.

    Glad you had some success!

    1. It's honestly really easy. Both the seeds and the carving! But yeah, the innards can kind of get to you. I took out a glove and the wife said "haha, you're going to wear a glove??" And then I opened it up and she said "ok, yeah, give me the glove." Haha.