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Monday, November 2, 2015

Pumpkin Seeds!

Pumpkin Seeds are one of my favorite snacks. They're healthier than chips, but still give you a good crunchy and salty snack to curb any craving that you have. I always make savory pumpkin seeds (this post will show you three versions), but I've seen other people do pumpkin pie flavors, salted caramel, and cinnamon sugar so it just goes to show that you can really do anything with these little seeds! I always make these on Halloween right after I carve my pumpkin, but you can buy raw pumpkins seeds to add your own seasonings to or you can use the pumpkin to make a pie or soup!
Make your favorite variety and share them with your friends!

 Step 1: Scoop everything out of your pumpkin. It's gross and takes some arm muscle, but it has to be done. I put everything I scoop out into a huge bowl or a pot. Then I pick out all the seeds. Once again this is quite a process and not much fun, but you don't want the junk from inside the pumpkin to mix in with your seeds. Once you separate them this is what they'll look like!

 Step 2: Now you'll want to clean the seeds and get off any of the excess pumpkin goo. Pour all of the seeds into a strainer and rinse until all the slimy stuff is gone! You might need to pick out some of the orange pieces by hand. 

 Step 3: Put a layer or two of paper towels or a dish towel on a baking sheet. Pour the clean pumpkin seeds onto the towel and spread them out so that there is only one layer. Leave them to dry. I covered the top with another towel and let them dry overnight. 

Step 4: Once the seeds are dry put them all into a small bowl and pour in a tiny amount of olive oil. About 1/2 tsp, but that depends on how many seeds you get out of the pumpkin. You want them to all be lightly coated and shiny, but there shouldn't be any extra in the bottom of the bowl.

 Step 4: Then sprinkle in some salt. I prefer to use sea salt, but could only find Kosher in my cabinets. Again this is just about 1/2 tsp, but you want enough to lightly coat them. This is just to taste. If you prefer them not to be salted then you can skip this step.

Step 5: Stir the bowl so that all the seeds are shiny and have a little bit of salt stuck to them.

Step 6: Put your pumpkin seeds back onto the baking sheet. This time line it with some tin foil, parchment paper, or a Silpat. Bake them for about 30 min at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You want them to be crunchy when you take them out. Larger seeds might take longer, but the smaller seeds can burn if they're cooked too long. 

Step 7: I divided the seeds into three bags and added seasonings to each. I wanted a little variety in my snacking. The first and my favorite are the spicy ones. I added a sprinkling of salt, 1 tsp chili powder and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper. The chili powder gives them a smoky taste and the cayenne pepper adds the spiciness. If you love the heat add more pepper, if you don't leave it out completely!

The second is a garlic blend. I love garlic so I found these to be really tasty. Add 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp garlic salt and 1/2 tsp lemon pepper. I like the contrast of the lemon pepper with the garlic salt and I use the two in a lot of my cooking. 

The third bag was KB's favorite. I was inspired to make these because I love Sea Salt/Black Pepper chips. I poured in 1/2 tsp salt (mine were already salted so I didn't want to get crazy) and then I added enough pepper that each seed looked speckled. 

Step 8: Shake up the bags so that the seasoning is evenly distributed and the seeds are coated. Then they are ready to serve!!

Love you lots, 

P.S. This is what I did with the leftover pumpkin!

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