roasted pumpkin seeds, 4 ways

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Every year we look forward to carving jack o’ lanterns for Halloween.. and somehow every year, we forget what a pain it is to clean out all the pumpkins.  But at least there’s one very tasty upside to all of that manual labor – roasted pumpkin seeds!

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My sister has been dying to throw a big Halloween party for several years now, but something has always come up last minute & we were never able to make it happen. Now, if you knew my sister, you’d know she has more than just a penchant for decorating.  It’s a full-on obsession.  I mean, we have boxes & boxes of crazy Halloween decor hanging out in the garage just waiting for their moment in the spotlight.  Well, this year it’s finally go-time… our party is tomorrow night!  With the rest of the decor ready to go, all we needed were some jack o’ lanterns.

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With promises of wine & pizza, we bribed a few of our girlfriends to come over and help with the pumpkin carving extravaganza.  Close to a dozen pumpkins later, we had an insane amount of pumpkin seeds waiting to be roasted.  Which got me thinking.. as much as I love my usual recipe, why not take advantage of the situation and try a few new ones?

First up was my old standby, Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Seeds.  I found the recipe several years ago on Martha Stewart’s website- I swear that lady can do no wrong. The recipe is fantastic as written, but even better with a little nutmeg and ground cloves added to the mix.  And when it says a pinch of cayenne, I make it a big one.  They have a great balance of flavors- a little smokiness from the cumin, warmth from the combination of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves, all rounded out with sugar & a spicy kick of cayenne.  Perfect!

Next was a variation on Martha’s recipe that I found on Food.com: Pumpkin Pie Seeds. They actually really good, but still a far cry from the Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Seeds. They just seemed a bit boring in comparison.

Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Seeds, adapted from Martha Stewart
1 cup pumpkin seeds
5 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg, to taste
1 ½ tablepoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 250º.  Spread the pumpkin seeds in a even layer on a rimmed baking sheet & roast for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Let cool.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, heat the vegetable oil & then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the sugar evenly in the skillet.  When the sugar begins to melt, add the pumpkin seeds & toss to coat in the caramelized sugar mixture.  Immediately transfer the pumpkin seeds to a large bowl & toss with the remaining sugar & spices. Let cool & enjoy.

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For my first foray into the savory side, I went with a recipe found on Allrecipes.com: Spiced Pumpkin Seeds.  The recipe calls for roasting the seeds in a mixture of butter, Worcestershire sauce, salt & garlic salt.  Thanks to my family’s obsession with Party Mix, I was sure this similar flavor combo would be the clear winner, but somehow it came in dead last.  Now don’t get me wrong.  They were good pumpkin seeds, but I think the flavor just made us crave party mix instead.

Now for the grand prize, award-winning, best pumpkin seed recipe of them all… Rosemary-Garlic Pumpkin Seeds.  They were so stinkin good!  I wish I’d paid better attention to amounts when I threw the spice blend together, but like an idiot, I didn’t. And now, what if I can never make this perfect blend of pumpkin seed deliciousness ever again?!  Alright, alright, so that might be a bit dramatic, but they really are that good.

Rosemary-Garlic Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons garlic salt
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried sage
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 275º.  Toss the pumpkin seeds with olive oil and the spices.  Spread the pumpkin seeds in a even layer on a rimmed baking sheet & roast for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool & scarf them down.

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All those pumpkin seeds must’ve smelled pretty good baking, because this little beggar followed me around all day…

The accidental glutton

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5 thoughts on “roasted pumpkin seeds, 4 ways

  1. I sure wish I was there to taste them! Have a great party. Love, Mom

  2. These sound delicious!

  3. Luke says:

    Those seeds were awesome, i’m gonna go have some right now actually! good work dear,
    love ya.

  4. strongconfidentbravegirl says:

    I’ve managed to persuade my two best friends and my mom to help me carve pumpkins this year to make these I’m so excited .

  5. […] The Accidental Glutton made a fall  classic – roasted pumpkin seeds. […]

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