Savory

Sweet and Salty Pumpkin Seeds

With Halloween days away, I know everyone has their pumpkin carving kits out and ready to go!

So, we didn’t always carve pumpkins in my household, most of the time we just painted them! I think my mom didn’t want to deal with two young children fighting over sharp objects. Which now that I think about it, that totally makes sense. Now that I’m all grown up and out of the nest, I definitely get the charm of carving pumpkins. I love picking out the design, reaching into all the slimy, stringy pumpkin innards, and sorting through all the seeds! Nothing puts me more in the Halloween spirit than creating the perfectly imperfect smile of a Jack-O-Lantern!

But, carving pumpkins will always hold a special place in my heart! Not only do you get the experience of cleaning out the pumpkin insides, but you also get a free delicious snack! What’s better than a free snack!?

There are a couple of steps required to take the pumpkin seeds from gunky slop to a crunchy sweet treat! I use a mesh strainer to put the seeds in and then run it under cold water to try to get as much of the pumpkin strands off as possible. There might be some big chunks that you can even pick off with your hands!

The next step is to boil them in water! I’ve read recipes where you don’t have to boil them, but I always suggest boiling your seeds first just to help loosen any pumpkin strands still holding on and to really clean the seeds.

Next, place them on a paper towel-lined sheet to dry overnight. When I used to make pumpkin seeds, I would never let them dry long enough and they always seemed to stick to everything I dried them off with! Paper towels, hand towels, you name it! There were always ten or so seeds that got left behind! However, the longer the seeds dry out, the less sticky they get. Let them sit overnight and every single seed will make it to the end. Also, I believe the dryer the seed is, the crispier they get in the oven.

For the seasonings on these pumpkin seeds, I wanted to do a sweet and spicy blend! Obviously, I have a sweet tooth and love incorporating that into most meals of the day. But there’s so much sweetness around Halloween that I wanted to kick things up a notch with some cayenne pepper! You can add as little or as much as you want. I like a little sprinkle in mine because I can’t really handle too much spice. I know, I know, I talk a big game. I like just enough spice where it hits you at the very end!

I prefer the sweet and spicy seasoning, but you could definitely change up your spices! You could use a taco seasoning packet from the store to make things even easier and have a delicious taco snack. You could also just do salt and pepper. Whatever you’re feeling, these seeds can do it!

Ingredients:

2 cups of pumpkin seeds

1 teaspoon of olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/4-1/2 teaspoon of cayenne powder

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

If you have just carved your pumpkins, rinse off the seeds. Try to get as much pumpkin gunk off as possible! Then place in boiling water for about 5 minutes! Strain the pumpkin seeds and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. I like to let my seeds dry overnight! But, at least an hour would work too!

Once your seeds have dried overnight, preheat the oven to 300-degrees. Place the seeds in a bowl with the olive oil and the seasonings! Toss to combine! Then spread them out on a baking sheet. Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Once they’re done baking, I like to let them cool for about 30 minutes to allow them to fully dry out and crisp up!

These pumpkin seeds are so addicting! I love the flavor combination of the sweet and spicy seasonings! It hits every note on your tastebuds and will have you grabbing another one and another one and another one…

-Holly Michelle

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