Believe me, I sympathize with parents on Halloween. It’s gotta be one of the most fun holidays, but man can it be hectic, especially if the celebration isn’t on a weekend. And it’s just not enough anymore to toss a sheet on your kid and send them out in the world with a pillowcase! Heck, Halloween hardly seems the time to make anything, let alone the Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!
But what if I could make it a little easier for you? What if I could show you how to brine and save those seeds until you have the time to deal with them? And what if I show you how I make The Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds that are flavorful, crispy, absolutely divine and actually worth making?
About The Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:
I still remember my daughter coming home from school one year. I think she might even have had a recipe. And she wanted to roast pumpkin seeds. I don’t think we got to it – so sorry, Jess! But the next year, she did them on her own. And I’ve tried them a few times since. I’ve even taken pics for a post before. This year is it. It’s about high time I actually got to those pumpkin seeds! It helped, too, that this year I’m also posting my homemade pumpkin puree so I needed to dissect that pumpkin anyway.
What makes The Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds so doable, and so delish is that they soak in a brine and then given a short boil before they are roasted. That means they’re well preserved for a few days if life is hectic, the pulp slips off easily and just falls to the bottom and those pumpkin seeds are absolutely beautifully flavored, crispy but not too hard and just a small bit of perfection that’s going to make you want to run out and buy more pumpkins, just for the seeds!
I love to flavor my pumpkin seeds, and usually, I like to pick out one or two of my many Spice & Herb Blends. You can go sweet or savory when making The Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds so you can make your pumpkin seeds any way you like. Even plain.
Gettin the Seeds out for The Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:
First of all, choose the right tool to clean the seeds out of the pumpkin. It will make things so much easier. An old-fashioned ice-cream scoop as shown in the pics is absolutely the best tool I’ve found. If you don’t have one try a scoop of some sort or a large metal serving spoon. Those scrapers that come with the carving kits can come in handy.
If you’re making The Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds from your Halloween pumpkin, you’re probably going to be reaching in through the top into a nest of fibers and pulling out whatever you can, willy, nilly. If you have a sugar pumpkin, you’re in luck! The seeds are going to be in groups and if you’re careful, you can scoop across them and bring up the seeds and fiber intact. It helps to know a bit about the anatomy of a pumpkin. There are usually four or five pockets of fibers and seeds that run up and down, vertically along the sides of the pumpkin.
But no matter what kind of pumpkin you have, first shake the mass of pulpy fibers and a lot of the seeds will come out. Then just gently squeeze the fibers & seeds between your thumb and forefinger and those seeds will just squirt out with very little fiber attached to them. There’s no need to be too picky because the brining and/or boiling will take care of pretty much all the small bits attached to the seeds.
Brining and/or Boiling The Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:
For the best pumpkin seeds, brine and/or boil them. If I’m going to be saving the seeds to make later, I always brine. By brine, I mean I mix salt and water together to make a solution and add the seeds. I don’t even bother to heat the water, and I use about twice the amount of water as pumpkin seeds and a tablespoon of salt for every cup of water. Keep it in the fridge. You’ll find that the pumpkin seeds float and all the fibrous bits sink to the bottom. Just use a skimmer to remove the seeds and either roast or preferably boil and then roast. The seeds can sit in the brine for quite a while. I usually try to make them by about the third day but they could potentially sit in that brine a day or two longer.
To boil the pumpkin seeds, which you can do whether or not you’ve brined, again, use about 2 times the water as the amount of seeds and a tablespoon of salt for each cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer at a good rate for 10 minutes. Again, remove the seeds with a skimmer; most of the fibers will remain behind in the pot.
Lay the seeds out on an absorbent towel and pat them to remove excess moisture. You won’t get them dry; they’re slippery little suckers but try to get the worst of the moisture off them. To roast, toss with about a tablespoon of oil, sprinkle with a seasoning of choice and roast at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring at about 12 minutes or so and again towards the end of the cooking time. If you use any type of sweet on the seeds, watch them extra carefully.
The Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon oil
- about 2 teaspoons of seasoning of choice
To brine or boil: measure pumpkin seeds. Use a brine that is twice the amount (in cups) as the amount of seeds (in cups) and a tablespoon of salt for every cup of water.
To brine, mix together the pumpkin seeds, water, and salt and refrigerate, covered for three to five days. Remove seeds with a skimmer. Most of the fibers will fall to the bottom; scoop seeds out and either pat dry and roast or boil.
To boil, mix together the pumpkin seeds, water, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a good, hard simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove with a skimmer. Again, most of the fibers will have fallen to the bottom. Pat dry.
To roast, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add pumpkin seeds to a heavy cookie sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with seasoning. Roast 15 to 25 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes, then again shortly before done. Watch carefully at the end of the cooking time. Remove from cookie sheet promptly.
I’ll be sharing The Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds at Fiesta Friday #247, hosted this week by Antonia @ Zoale.com and Laurena @ Life Diet Health. There’s lots of fun fall dishes & Halloween Party food already linked up there! Stop by and check it out.