Growing up, the night that our family carved pumpkins was almost as exciting as the night we went trick or treating. After visiting a local pumpkin patch and carefully picking out our favorites, my parents would cover the kitchen table in newspapers. My mom would cut the top off of the pumpkins and go to work scraping out all of the pulp and seeds. Once she was finished, my dad would let my sister and I draw our designs on our pumpkins, and then he would working carving. While we were busy at the table, my mom would pull all of the pumpkin seeds out of the pulp, rinse and dry them, season them, and put them in the oven. By the time we were finished carving our pumpkins, we were more than ready to start snacking on fresh roasted pumpkin seeds.
I haven’t carved a pumpkin in years, but every October around this time, I start to crave those fresh roasted pumpkin seeds my mom would make. I finally made my own roasted pumpkin seeds this year, and used three different spice blends.
My mom would use a simple salt and garlic powder seasoning on her pumpkin seeds, and you could certainly use something just as simple. If you like to play around with some different flavors, I think you’ll like at least one of the combinations below.
First, we have a Gingery Soy spice blend, which is a balance of sweet and a bit of a bite from the ginger:
Next up, Brown Sugar Spice, which combines dark brown sugar, with some spices and cayenne pepper. This one definitely has a kick to it, so if you don’t like spicy flavors, you’ll want to steer clear of this one.
Lastly, Maple Chipotle, which was my personal favorite. Maple syrup is combined with chipotle chile powder and cumin, which gives the seeds a sweet and smokey flavor; not really spicy like the previous blend.
If you’re not into the whole pumpkin carving thing, you could always just go out and buy raw pumpkin seeds and roast away! I like the shelled version (also called pepitas), but it will not harm you to eat the shell – that’s how my mom always roasted them. If you want to shell them yourself, this is an easy tutorial on how to do so.
Did you (or do you) have pumpkin carving traditions? If you roast pumpkin seeds, what are some of your favorite flavors to use?
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Yield: 2 cup pumpkin seeds
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Three different variations on roasted pumpkin seeds - Ginger Soy, Brown Sugar Spice, and Maple Chipotle.
2 cups shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Your choice of seasoning blend below
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
Brown Sugar Spice:
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1½ teaspoons ground allspice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin seeds with the olive oil. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for whichever spice blend you are using, then pour over the pumpkin seeds and stir to combine and evenly coat all of the seeds.
3. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake until the seeds are golden and crunchy, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Allow the seeds to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
(Recipe adapted from Everyday Food)