As promised, here are instructions for roasting pumpkin seeds…or winter squash seeds; the same things apply.
I know of three ways to fix these healthy gems:
Simply roasted, shell and all:
1. Scoop them out of the pumpkin or squash, pulp and all.
2. Separate the pulp and throw it away.
3. Rinse the seeds; then spread them on a lightly oiled cookie sheet to dry (about 1-2 hours) That means you have time to go do something else.
4. Put them into the oven. Now, this part is simple enough; yet tricky: I usually roast seeds on a low heat, probably around 200F. Recipes I have seen say to roast at 350F. The reason I don’t do that is, it seems that seeds scorch easily.
5. Stir them occasionally to keep them from burning.
6. When they’re a nice, toasty brown, take them out and let them cool a bit.
7. While they are warm, toss them with a little olive oil (or any other type that you like.)
8. Now for the fun:
You can simply sprinkle a little salt on them OR…
you can toss them in taco seasoning, ranch dressing mix, seasoning packets of all sorts…you get the idea: Choose a flavor that you enjoy.
9. Once they have had a chance to finish cooling and absorbing all that yummy flavor, eat them.
WARNING: This method does mean that you might be spitting out bits of shell. It’s not all that bad.
Boiled in salt water:
1. Follow all of the steps in the first method, up to rinsing the seeds.
2. Put them in a pan, cover them with water and add enough salt for them to absorb. I have seen some recipes that call for 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of salt. That’s too much for me, so I put about 1 Tbsp of salt to 2 cups of water.
3. Boil them for 1/2 hour.
4. Drain them and lay them out on a tray or cookie sheet to dry.
5. You can stop right there if you want: They’ll taste good.
6. You got it: Toss them with a little oil and your favorite seasonings. Let them sit a while; then enjoy.
Just the kernels:
Okay, for this method, you will need a few things – a small pair of scissors, something to put the shells in, a loooooong, good movie to help with the tedium of this task;.
1. Do the basics – scoop, separate, rinse.
2. Start the movie.
3. Cut the shells on the side, just enough that you can pull them apart and get the kernel. Sometimes, boiling the seeds for about fifteen minutes; then letting them cool makes this easier. Don’t cook them too long; the kernels will get soft.
4. Save all those delicate little gems in a bowl.
5. Toss them with a bit of oil; then roast them at 200 for about 5 minutes. Careful: They scorch very easily.
6. Let them cool slightly; then flavor them.
The real benefit of this: You don’t have to try eating those tough shells!