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Have you ever wondered what on earth to do with your poor jack-o-lanterns guts after the kids have done all their slicing and dicing for Halloween? If not, well now you have a tasty new recipe to give a try! This is a great way to bond with the family and pumpkin seeds are always a better solution to fatty snacks such as cookies, cakes, and candy, and can be as addictive as sunflower seeds! Something I will advise though is to not cut out sweet treats completely, I mean come on, we all need some sugar once in a while whether we would like to admit it or not, ha-ha!
The full process may take up to about two hours at the most. That does seem lengthy, but in order to make the treat that beats, taking your time is totally worth it!
Kitchenware Needed: A pot large enough for the amount of seeds you wish to make, a strainer with very small holes so the seeds do not slip through them into your sink (we do not want a clogged pipe!), and baking sheets that you can spread the seeds out on.
Ingredients will include: seeds scooped out of a fresh pumpkin or purchased raw from a store of your choosing, regular table salt, and any other type of flavored salt or powder you plan to use on your seeds that will satisfy your taste buds. Personally, popcorn flavor shakers can be used for pumpkin seeds as well! These can easily be found near the boxed popcorn and chips in most grocery stores you visit.
Let's Do This!
When removing the seeds from the pumpkin be sure to have a large bowl or your strainer ready to place them in until you have removed all the seeds you intend to use. Once the seeds are collected you need to rinse them in cool water and be sure to remove as much of the pumpkin pulp as you can or else it will burn in the oven and create a fowl smell. I made that mistake once and it was NOT pretty. Once the seeds are clean to your satisfaction, it is time to begin the cooking process.
Remove the seeds from your strainer and place them in a medium pot. Cover the seeds with water, enough so the water does not completely boil out before the seeds are done, and then add 2 teaspoons of the regular table salt. Give the seeds a good stir after adding the salt and begin to let them simmer at medium heat. When the water begins to boil let it boil for about 10 minutes until the seeds start to sink and then strain them again of all liquid. Once completely drained and cool enough to handle, lie the seeds out on a towel on a flat surface so they can dry at least 6-8 minutes before you prep them for baking.
Here comes the fun part: creating the finishing touches of your treat! Be sure that your oven is heated to a cozy 350 degrees and spread your seeds out evenly on the cookie sheet mentioned before in the kitchenware needed section. Next, you can chose any flavored salt you desire! There's cheddar, white cheddar, ranch, garlic, barbecue, teriyaki, black pepper! The possibilities are endless! Once you choose your flavor, you just sprinkle as much flavoring you want on those seeds of yours and they are now ready to head to the oven for the final result!
Now that the seeds are in the oven you need to bake them for at least 10-15 minutes or until they show no moisture and are a nice golden-brown color. Another good tip to remember is when you smell the flavoring you put on the seeds throughout the kitchen, that is a good indication that the seeds are ready for your taste buds and your tummy!
Every year when the carving of our pumpkins are done my family and I love to make all different flavored pumpkin seeds for our friends, our neighbors, and other family members! You could always consider this yummy treat to be the sweets and cookie on Christmas version for Halloween and even Thanksgiving.
I hope you and your family enjoy making this easy and delicious treat. Who knows, maybe it could become the new family tradition!