I’m sharing with you today how to make roasted pumpkin seeds and comparing two different versions of preparing this tasty seasonal treat. These crunchy goodies don’t last long in our house and this year is no exception. Our batches are almost gone already!
I love the ease and no mess of using decorative pumpkins, but.. feel a bit slighted because we don’t get to follow a long-standing family tradition which is making roasted pumpkin seeds. I find myself now using both the decorative pumpkins for display and then adding in a “real” pumpkin so we don’t skip the experience of carving one, the mess.. oh did I just say that?..and of course…making roasted pumpkin seeds.
I have so many memories of roasting and eating the delicious crunchy pumpkin seeds after carving Halloween pumpkins. I remember eating them with my sisters when I was little and always roasted pumpkin seeds with my children when they were growing up. This past weekend I shared our tradition with my grandson. I can now count 5 generations in my family of following this holiday tradition!
This weekend just for giggles I did a quick Google search on roasting pumpkin seeds and found another method of preparing roasted pumpkin seeds I’ve never tried before. My curiosity got the best of me and I ran out and bought yet another pumpkin just to do a taste test.
The biggest difference between the two roasting methods was boiling the seeds and adding some olive oil. Some of the recipes I read called for drying the seeds first with a hairdryer, I just patted the excess water off with a towel which is pretty much the way we’ve always dried the seeds before roasting. Below are the two methods I compared.
Roasted pumpkin seeds version 1 – Wash pumpkin seeds separating the stringy pulp from the seeds. Pat dry with a paper towel. Spread the seeds out on a foil covered baking sheet or directly onto the baking sheet, salt with sea salt to taste and bake at 325 degrees until lightly browned. Check and stir often.
Roasted pumpkin seeds version 2 – Wash pumpkin seeds separating the stringy pulp from the seeds. Boil for 10 minutes in salted water. Pat dry with a paper towel or a hairdryer. Pour a few teaspoons of olive oil over seeds (I used a Misto and sprayed a light coating) and then tossed to evenly coat all the seeds. Spread the seeds out on a foil covered baking sheet or directly onto the baking sheet, salt with sea salt to taste and bake at 325 degrees until lightly browned. Check and stir often.
The results? I noticed a very slight difference in added crunchiness with the parboiled seeds which made the outer shells a little easier to eat. There was also just a hint of a difference in taste from the olive oil which I liked. The parboiled & olive oil pumpkin seeds browned a bit better and not surprisingly cooked faster. One last & nice benefit of the olive oil on the seeds is that the pumpkin seeds didn’t stick to the foil on my baking sheet.
My conclusion and recommendation? I’m amending our “family” cooking method to include parboiling and a spritz of olive oil. I figure it’s good to keep an open mind and sometimes traditions can be tweaked. We’ve always eaten them plain with salt but if you’re feeling adventurous and want to try something new, here are a few great roasted pumpkin seed seasoning suggestions from Pumpkin Patches and More. These are based on using 2 cups of pumpkin seeds.
- Savory: 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- Lemony: 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon ‘Mrs. Dash” or lemon pepper
- Halloweeny: 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice.
- Spicy: 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Natural: 1 teaspoon sea salt or other salt, 4 tablespoons melted butter,
Do you have family traditions you follow during fall?
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