Crispy, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds with Morrocan Spice
There are few activities more associated with Fall than carving jack-o-lanterns and roasting pumpkin seeds. I like my toasted pumpkin seeds or pepitas to be crispy like popcorn and a little spicy. These seeds are chock full of nutrition containing plenty of protein (30 grams per 100 grams of seeds) fiber (6 grams per 100 grams of seeds) and oleic acid which is a healthy mono-unsaturdated fat that increases good HDL cholesterol in the blood. Plus, they're delicious and this is a great way to use nearly every part of your pumpkin. I start by cutting a hole in the top of my gourd around the stem and scooping all the innards into a bowl. This is a great way to get kids involved in the process, they love to use their hands to scoop out this gooey mess.
This part is a little tedious, but many hands make light work and the payoff is absolutely worth it with these tasty little treats.
Once I've got the seeds seperated into a bowl of their own, I use a small sieve to get rid of as much of the orange pith as a I can.
These fibrous strands certainly won't hurt you, but it's nice to have a clean bowl of seeds to toast.
Next, I toss these seeds with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and toast in a saucepan on my stovetop for about 10 minutes. The seeds will start to pop a little bit like popcorn as the inner seeds cooks. You want to be careful to not overcook the seeds at this stage, just a light toasting or you'll dry out that nutrition dense seed kernel inside the white outer shell.
You can see here there are a few in the middle that are turning golden brown, that's what you're looking for.
Next, spread the toasted seeds on a baking sheet as much and try not to crowd them. Sprinkle on a little bit of fine sea salt and spices. In this case I decided to sprinkle on a few teaspoons of Morrocan spice blend. You can find these blends in the spice section of your favorite grocery store, or you can make your own. I like this one from Healthy Girl's Kitchen.
Customizing the flavors of these seeds is great, try combinations like cayenne and lime powder for a zesty chili lime pop or parmesean and oregano for a savory treat.
The seeds should look evenly coated and fairly well spread out. A rubber spatula works great.
Toast at 325 for about 10 minutes, this will ensure that the seed doesn't dry out and it has a nice crunch.
Our smallish pumpkin yielded about 4 ounces of finished seeds and bigger pumpkins will yield more.
1 or 2 pumpkins, seeds removed, separated and washed.
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Teaspoons (or to taste) of your favorite spice blend.
1-2 Teaspoons fine sea salt
Pre-heat oven to 325
Toss separated and washed pumpkin seeds with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat a saucepan to medium heat on your stovetop. Stir frequently until seeds turn a golden brown color and "pop" a little bit, about 10 minutes.
Pour toasted seeds onto a baking sheet. Top with 3-4 teaspoons (or to taste) of your favorite spice blend.
Toast at 325 for about 10 minutes, let cool and serve!