eat-the-whole-thing pumpkin seeds

toasted pumpkin seedsI know it’s been almost two weeks since Halloween, but I haven’t gotten around to sharing this amazing snack until right now – even though I made it a second time since pumpkin carving with acorn squash seeds, too.

Although I enjoy pumpkin seeds, I find they’re usually more trouble to eat than they’re worth. The hulls on the outside are kid of chewy, even when roasted, and you end up working tirelessly to peel away the outer shell just to get to the small seed inside. And all that salt you shake over the shells just doesn’t make its way to the edible part.

This year, though, to my absolute delight – and both of my housemates’ – I managed to master the toasted pumpkin seed. After doing a little research and experimentation, I found a method that ensures you can eat the entire shell without any of that weird hard-to-eat texture.

All you have to do is boil the seeds first with a whole bunch of salt and then toast ’em up. And get this: it uses less oil than the classic method where you coat your seeds with oil and salt and just roast.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a pumpkin
  • salt
  • vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Scoop the insides out of the pumpkin and separate all the seeds from the pulp.
  3. Rinse the seeds thoroughly in a strainer.
  4. Measure the seeds out so you know what you’re working with; I had a small and large pumpkins’ worth – about 2 cups. Then, dump them into a medium-sized pot.
  5. For every cup of seeds, add 3 cup of water 1.5 tablespoons of salt (or more, depending on how salty you want them) to the pot.
  6. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes. Drain.
  7. Coat the bottom of a baking sheet or two with oil and spread the seeds in a single layer.
  8. Bake for 10 to 20 minutes, checking often and tossing once or twice. Once they start to get golden, remove from the oven immediately. They will get a little bit browner once they cool in the pan for a few minutes.

These can be eaten as-is, since they’re pre-salted, or seasoned with your favourite spices. I did half of mine with cayenne and paprika for a spicy switch-up. I’m sure they’d be great if you tossed the seeds with a little pressed garlic a couple minutes before removing them from the oven. Or, make them cheesy with some Parmesan or nutritional yeast.

This is a great way to make the most of any squash you buy; it’s not just for pumpkin seeds. The seeds from my acorn squash last week tasted just as good!

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