10.25.2011

Best Ever Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

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Eating toasted pumpkin seeds was a yearly tradition when I was a child. I have started this tradition with my little girl now too. 


My mom would always coat the seeds with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt, then pop them in the oven.  My sister and I LOVED eating these every year, but there were always the ones the were hard to chew and I'd end up spitting them out.


This year, I decided to search the internet to see if there was another way to cook them.  I found this recipe, and decided to give it a try.


I adapted the recipe slightly (I have this inability to follow a recipe exactly).


INGREDIENTS
Pumpkin seeds (I had about 1 1/2 cups)
Water (I used about 2 1/2 cups)
Salt (I used 2 tbsp, but this was almost too much)
Olive Oil (1-2 tbsp)
Cinnamon (optional)
Step 1: Cut open your pumpkin (we used the one we carved), and use your fingers to scoop out all of the seeds.  Using your hands frees the seeds from the stringy insides a lot easier than using a spoon.  Rinse the seeds very well.  They will still feel a bit slimy even after washing them. 



Step 2: Add the pumpkin seeds, water, and salt to a medium saucepan.  You really do not want to add too much salt.  Simply Recipes suggests using 1/2 tbsp of salt for every cup of water.  They also suggest using 2 cups of water for every 1/2 cup of seeds.  I thought this was too much salt AND too much water so I cut back on both (see my measurements above). Bring to a boil then let simmer for about 10 minutes.  Drain your seeds once they are removed from the heat.  I taste tested mine at this point to make sure I didn't need anymore salt.  If you need more salt, add it right before it goes into the oven.

Step 3: Set oven to 400 degrees (I did this while they were boiling).  Cover the bottom of a cookie sheet with olive oil then spread your boiled seeds on the sheet.  You will want to add a sprinkle of cinnamon now if you are using it (I didn't on this batch).  Shake the sheet around a bit to get the pumpkin seeds in one layer.  Bake on the top rack for about 15-20 minutes.  I took mine out after 10 minutes, stirred them around, then shook them back into one layer.  They should be golden brown and very crispy.  The dark ones are the best!


Step 4: Place a paper towel (or just a towel) on a plate and pour the seeds onto the towel to absorb the excess oil.  Transfer the seeds to another bowl (or air tight container if you don't consume them within 15 minutes like we did).  I put a napkin in the bottom of the bowl to make sure all the oil drained off because I wanted these to be extra crispy!  

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