Plenty of Pumpkins, Plenty of Recipes

Pumpkins can be made into so many tasty snacks and many of them, beyond the initial gutting of the pumpkin, are very easy to cook.  Once you’ve reduced your pumpkin to puree, it is utterly versatile.  Any bread or cake recipes that call for zucchini, squash, or carrots shredded could have pumpkin puree instead and turn into a yummy autumnal meal.  You can whip up anything from muffins to mousse to pancakes to, of course, pie.

But my favorite pumpkin recipe doesn’t even require the time consuming process of reducing your pumpkin.  You can keep all of the pumpkins for carving and just gut them for their seeds, and you will have days worth of delicious snacking.  Pumpkin seeds have become a bit of a seasonal tradition in our house, and here is my signature recipe for them.

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To prepare your seeds:

Three pumpkins = one cookie tray full of seeds, which will come out to about three quart mason jars.

Rinse thoroughly in warm water to remove any excess pumpkin.  Spread  evenly over a paper towel and leave to dry.  I leave mine overnight, and they are perfect by morning.  Pour your dried seeds into a mixing bowl and preheat your oven to 375.

Now for the fun part.  You can play with the mixtures for your seasoning, but here’s what I use:

3 tablespoons fresh sea salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 cup of olive oil

and 2-3 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper (more if you want a spicier batch).

Stir it all together thoroughly and then spread evenly on a cookie tray. I cover mine with foil to avoid a mess.

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Bake in the oven at 375 for ten minutes.  Remove and stir them up, then spread them out evenly again.  This is to ensure that they don’t get burnt on one side and remain uncooked on the other.  Bake for an additional 6-7 minutes, remove and let cool.

Happy Halloween!

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