Prime Time for Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkinseedsYesterday was the first day of October which means many of my favorite things are finally here: Halloween, haunted houses, pumpkins, and pumpkin seeds. Halloween is my favorite holiday for a number of reasons. Halloween-time means carving pumpkins. I have a plethora of good memories related to making good old fashioned jack-o-lanterns. For me it meant spending time with my dad, being creative, and looking forward to a tasty snack afterward.

There is something incredibly pleasing about carving pumpkins. Besides making memories, the carving process involves focus, creativity, and patience. The part I always enjoyed most was eating the pumpkin seeds afterward. My least favorite part was sticking my hands in the pumpkin goo and methodically picking out the seeds one by one. That is where the patience comes in.

Everyone has their own special way of preparing pumpkin seeds. The wonderful thing about pumpkin seeds is that they are known for their high zinc content which is important for keeping a healthy immune system. I will share a few ways that I know of in order of most fattening to least fattening. Remember to wash and completely dry the pumpkin seeds first!

Buttery/Salty Pumpkin Seeds:
Put all the dry seeds in a bowl.
Melt a few tablespoons of butter depending on how many seeds you have.
Drench the seeds in the melted butter.
Spread aluminum foil over a cookie sheet.
Spread the seeds out over the cookie sheet.
Salt the seeds (add pepper if you wish).
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes depending on how toasty you want the seeds.

Olive Oil/Garlic Pumpkin Seeds:
Put all the dry seeds in a bowl.
Drench the seeds in olive oil.
Spread aluminum foil over a cookie sheet.
Spread the seeds out over the cookie sheet.
Mince a few cloves of garlic.
Sprinkle the garlic over the seeds.
Lightly salt the seeds.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-45 minutes depending on how toasty you want the seeds.

Coconut/Cinnamon Pumpkin Seeds:
Put all the dry seeds in a bowl.
Melt coconut oil on the stove.
Drench the seeds in coconut oil.
Spread aluminum foil over a cookie sheet.
Spread the seeds out over a cookie sheet.
Sprinkle cinnamon over the seeds.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-45 minutes depending on how toasty you want the seeds.

You can substitute butter for olive oil or just experiment. Everyone has their own method. The point is that after a day of sculpting a ghost into a pumpkin and picking pumpkin gunk out of your fingernails, you can sit back with a glass of warm cider (brandy optional) and a handful of tasty seeds. Happy snacking!

-Monica Bologna

Photo Credit: Flickr/thegardenbuzz

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