October 20, 2012 at 2:24pm
Crisp, healthy and surprisingly versatile, pumpkin seeds are perhaps the finest snack food of the fall season. In fact, I’m eating handfuls as I write this.
Here are some twists on classic recipes to make your season a little more “seasoned.”
After carving your pumpkin, (tips here) rinse the seeds under cold water to get rid of extra pulp that’s trying to cling on. Then, pat them dry.
Perhaps the simplest way to prepare the delicious, flavorful seeds is with good ole fashioned salt and oil (or butter). Just coat the seeds with ingredients in a bowl, and then spread them evenly in a shallow pan to roast around 300 degrees for about an hour, depending on desired crispiness. This method can be easily altered by adding cayenne, ranch powder, cumin, garlic, or any other powdered or minced seasoning.
Some people allow the seeds to set for the night in whatever desired seasoning they’ve chosen. Me, I like the instant gratification of sticking them straight in the oven. Either way is fine.
Most pumpkin seeds prepared in a salty savory way can easily be kicked up a notch by drizzling bacon drippings on them. Or to add a twist to spicy seeds, throw in a sweetening agent such as maple syrup or brown sugar.
Speaking of sweet - try mixing with cinnamon, sugar, cloves, ginger and nutmeg for a pumpkin pie flavor.
Or throw a handful of pumpkin seeds into pumpkin muffin batter for added texture and nutrients like fiber, anti-oxidants and vitamins B and E.
Perhaps my favorite though, are drunken pumpkin seeds, where seeds are simmered in a whiskey, bacon dripping and brown sugar mixture before going into the oven to roast. Use about a half cup booze and a few teaspoons of the rest, throw all the ingredients in a pot on the stove a let simmer for 20 minutes before roasting. For an added bonus, use the remainder of the bottle of whiskey as an accompaniment to your delicious fall snack.
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