The leaves are changing, the mornings are colder, and the urge to get cozy under a blanket with a cup of tea is creeping. This means only one thing…it’s pumpkin season! One of my favorite things about Seattle is that we actually get seasons. Spring is rainy, summer is gorgeous, fall is crisp and cozy and while we don’t get snow every winter it has been known to dump a few inches every few years.
Fall might be my favorite season to cook. So many comfort foods like potato leek soup, Ratatouille, butternut squash and my personal favorite- anything with roasted pumpkin. Most people get excited about carving pumpkins and drinking pumpkin spice lattes. I get equally excited about hacking a pumpkin open and roasting that delicious goodness! Cube it and add to salads, make pumpkin soup, puree it for baked goods, add some sautéed spinach and toasted quinoa and you have a wholesome hearty vegan meal.
Roasted pumpkin seeds are a great snack, party appetizer, salad addition or kitchen adventure with aspiring little chefs! The recipe is super simple and can be personalized in so many ways!
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Prep Time: About 10 minute to scoop out pumpkin and remove stringy parts from seed
Cook Time: Aprox. 20 minutes
Rice Bran Oil
Pumpkin or squash seeds
Grey or pink salt
Scoop out the pumpkin and separate the seeds from the stringy insides. Pinching the seeds while you run the strainer under cold water works to remove most of the stringy parts. Line a baking tray with paper towels. Wash the seeds in a strainer, being sure to remove all the stringy parts, and them flat the lined baking sheet. Pat the top of the seeds with a paper towel, it’s okay if they stick a little! Just remove the seeds from the paper towel and keep patting.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Put the seeds in a bowl and toss with oil. I recommend rice bran oil since it doesn’t have a taste and it has a high burn point ensuring that it’s good for baking and grilling. You can also use grapeseed oil, safflower oil or avocado oil. Those each have their own slight taste so it depends on what flavor your’e going with. Add a few pinches of salt, toss, and add a bit more salt. You can add to taste depending one how much you like salt. I use it sparingly.
Remove the paper towels from your baking tray and spread out the oiled seeds on the tray. You won’t need to add additional oil to the tray. Shake the pan out a bit so that most of the seeds are laying in one single layer. Some of the seeds will overlap, which is just fine!
Place the baking sheet in the oven. Turn seeds after ten minutes then allow them to roast until the corners of thee seeds start to brown. Depending on your oven, this could be between 17-25 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven and allow the seeds to completely cool. Roasted seeds will keep in an airtight container for up to four days!
The Kitchn has a few amazing ideas for other ways to flavor pumpkin seeds:
Sweet Pumpkin Seeds: Omit or reduce the salt and roast the seeds on parchment-lined baking sheet. Let cool, then toss with brown sugar or a little maple syrup. Not too much, just enough to lightly coat the seeds. You can also add cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg or other ‘sweet’ spices. Toss well to coat evenly. Return the tray to the oven and continue to roast for another 10 to 15 minutes or so.
Sweet-Hot Pumpkin Seeds: Toss the seeds with a little honey and sriracha or chili flakes. A little cumin might be nice, or curry powder. Roast as with sweet seeds.
Savory Pumpkin Seeds: Add herbs such as chopped rosemary, dried oregano and/or spices such as smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin to the seeds before roasting. Check carefully to be sure the herbs and spices aren’t browning too quickly. If so, roast at a sightly lower heat.