By Emily Dominici
October is upon us.
The air is crisp and cool. The leaves are turning brilliant colors and the air is fragrant with their smell. We can finally don our favorite hoodies. Yes - fall is a good thing.
Now is the time to decorate your abode with hay bales, cornstalks, hearty mums and of course, pumpkins!
Pumpkins are a vital part of autumn tradition. They make our menacing jack-o-lanterns, they make everyone's favorite pie, they make spicy breads and cakes, and best of all - they make "pepitas."
This delicacy, more commonly referred to as roasted pumpkin seeds, is an easy and delicious snack that also happens to be healthy! Pumpkin seeds are loaded with fiber, Magnesium, Iron, B vitamins, and protein.
So let's make some!
Step 1 - Remove seeds
As you are gutting your pumpkin to make your jack-o-lantern, keep all of the seeds in a seperate bowl. For an average size pumpkin there should be about two cups full of seeds.
Step 2 - Rinse
Dump your bowl of seeds/guts into a colander and rinse under cold water, removing the chunks of pulp as you go. It is not necessary to remove every last bit of pulp.
Step 3 - Spread rinsed seeds on baking sheet
For best results, spread them directly on the baking sheet as opposed to on paper towels since they will be sticky and slimy.
Step 4 - Allow seeds to dry
This step is necessary if you want your pepitas to be crispy. Skipping this step will result is chewier seeds.
Step 5 - Preheat
Before seasoning the seeds, preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Step 6 - Drizzle seeds with oil
About two teaspoons will be plenty. You can use olive oil or canola, depending on how you want to flavor your seeds. Toss them with your fingers to coat.
Step 7 - Season
This is where you can get creative. You can use salt, seasoned salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, worchestershire sauce ... or try using sugar and salt to make a kettle corn-type treat or cinnamon and sugar.
Step 8 - Bake about one hour
Step 9 - Enjoy!
If you have any self control and your pepitas last longer than 15 minutes, they need to be stored in an airtight container.