I want to start off this post by saying how grateful I am to live in Rochester, NY; especially after Hurricane Sandy. Nothing like this in the history of New York City/New Jersey/Brooklyn, etc. has something like this happened, it truly is a disaster and my thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected. It’s crazy, NYC really is not that far from Rochester but they got hit so much harder. We just got some strong winds and heavy rain – nothing like NYC. Rochester is so safe when considering the weather. Sure we get some bad snow storms, but it does not cause damage like this.
I am truly amazed at the people coming together. There have been times in the past where you hear of so much stealing and looting after a weather disaster, but not this one. I heard on the news this morning that a restaurant that could not open due to damage had an abundance of food that needed to be used, so they cooked it up and gave it away to people walking on the streets – for free! Also, an 11 year-old girl set up an “internet cafe tent” outside her house so people could charge their phones and electronics – for free! It’s really nice hearing news about people coming together after a disaster instead of breaking apart.
I carved my $3.00 pumpkins! Yes, they were $3.00 each at Old Henry’s farm market in Gates/Greece. My parents purchased only one pumpkin from Powers farm market in Pittsford, and they paid almost $10.00 for just that one pumpkin! I always remember going to Powers when I was younger because they have farm animals and awesome teepee’s filled with amazingly carved pumpkins but now knowing the price difference, I still go to see the animals and teepee’s; I just purchase my pumpkins at Old Henry’s. Honestly, my fiance and I noticed a difference in the seeds compared to Powers; Henry’s has a more meaty seed and Powers has a thicker hull that’s slightly harder to chew. Sometimes you’re better off going to the “little guy” than the “well-known guy” =)
I was originally going to do Stay Puft and Jack… so I did a creepy grave hand and Jack. I always carve my pumpkins the night before and I just didn’t have enough time to carve Mr. Puft =( but these pumpkins turned out better than expected, especially the hand! I enjoy carving pumpkins so much, I do two of them every year!
How did I do? Did you carve a pumpkin? Go ahead, show me a picture!
For as long as I can remember, every Halloween in my family meant that dad would make his roasted pumpkin seeds from the pumpkins we carved the night before. They would be roasted on Halloween night since it was an easy recipe with all the kids coming to the door. But no more than a few days later, my two older brothers and I just couldn’t get enough and they would be all gone.
One year in high school I handed out candy for my parents and every once in a while as I opened the door and the kids would say, “trick or treat” some would say, “Oh my gosh your house smells so good! What is that smell?!” No joke, these kids were hilarious. My neighborhood is awesome because it’s so kid friendly and safe. It also seemed like they had never smelled roasted pumpkin seeds before, hmm!
Pumpkin seeds are the most common squash seed that is roasted this time of year, but all winter squash has edible seeds! Some are obviously different in size and texture, but the cooking process is pretty much the same. Last year I tried making these BBQ roasted pumpkin seeds and they turned out really gross, haha. So, this time around I told myself, “a little goes a long way” when it came to eye-balling the seasonings because you can’t measure the seeds when purchasing a pumpkin and you want to use all the seeds, right?! You never really know how much you’re going to get in one pumpkin. My slightly smaller pumpkin had more seeds than the larger one! The key is to look for a pumpkin that feels heavy for its size.
Almost any kind of flavor can be added to squash seeds before roasting. I have made an Indian version before with garam masala and turmeric, it was pretty good. This time around I made a lightly flavored slightly smoky with a bit of a kick in the back of your throat once in a while………
They were delicious! “BUT TELL US WHAT’S IN IT!”
- I had two large pumpkins that yield ~3 C.
- Separate the guts from the seeds, it’s okay to have some pumpkin strings still left in there because it gives it flavor, but take out almost all of it. Put in a strainer and rinse well under cold water.
- I let mine sit out until the next day in the strainer, stirring it every once in a while with a paper towel and it was about 85-90% dry.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Put in seeds a bowl, drizzle with just enough EVOO.
- Sprinkle garlic powder, onion powder, beau monde seasoning, dash of freshly cracked black pepper and dried parsley, a pinch of cayenne pepper and a sprinkle of smoked paprika for color and smoky flavor [you can also use smoked salt (I have this stuff, it’s delish!) BUT beau monde seasoning already has salt added, so be careful with adding extra salt; to be honest, it really just won’t taste the same].
- Toss to coat really well, pour onto a sheet pan lined with non-stick foil and shake to flatten out to one layer.
- Put in the oven at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
- Slightly browned and a bit dried out, they are ready to take out of the oven to cool and serve.
I have seen some recipes where they say to cook the seeds in salted boiling water for about 10 minutes to make the husk softer and an all-around even salt flavor. Personally, I think that’s too much work and I could care less about salt water and soft husks for my seeds; I think they’re soft enough! What you boil takes out the nutrients, the outside of the seed is fibrous – not always inedible!
These are such a great snack for on-the-go, or sprinkle a few on top of some turkey chili to add a crunch. Pumpkin seeds are packed with magnesium, iron, and calcium, vitamin K and protein and will definitely give you an energy boost. Lighter than nuts, try a handful of them in the afternoon a few hours after lunch, especially if you are working out after work or have a long stretch before dinner.
Have you tried roasting other seeds besides pumpkin?
What kinds of seasonings do you use on your seeds?
Do you know of a different trick to soften the husks of the seeds?