We roast pumpkin seeds every year. Along with carving the jack-o-lanterns, it’s part of our rituals on the eve of Samhain (or Halloween, if you prefer). As we were boiling our seeds, a few questions started coming in on FB – where I’d been sharing videos. So I figured a blog post was in order. Which brings us up to date. 😉
Home made, roasted pumpkin seeds are my very favourite Halloween treat. Candies, chips, chocolates may be nice… but nothing beats the yummy crunch of pumpkin seeds done right. And to be honest? I find the process of harvesting the seeds, washing, boiling, drying, and roasting them to be very zen. I just enjoy the whole thing, which only adds to their natural goodness.
Tonight we’ll cover the basics, and by the end you’ll be on your way to developing your own way of seasoning and enjoying home roasted pumpkin seeds.
We were rather grateful that Damon had purchased two great big pumpkins this year, as we discovered our first one was partially rotten inside – which meant we wouldn’t be harvesting anything from it. It still made a good jack-o-lantern, but I wouldn’t have trusted anything to be edible. Thankfully our second pumpkin had such a wealth of seeds that we’ll have as many from one pumpkin as we often get from two!
So, the obvious steps to this process:
- harvest your seeds
- wash your seeds
Now, this next step is the one that seemed to generate all the questions:
- boil your seeds
Yes. I boil my seeds. I didn’t always though, and I had the same problems many people report when doing their own home roasting. The seeds were tough, and inconsistent. I started boiling them six or seven years ago now, and it makes a world of difference. My pumpkin seeds are crispier, lighter, and more flavourful. It’s definitely worth the extra step.
I use a medium sized sauce pan, and add a couple of inches of water. Roughly enough to cover your seeds and allow for an extra inch or inch and a half of water. Bring it to a boil and add your seeds.
This is also when I add my seasonings or spices.
We try something different almost every year. It’s fun to experiment with different spices or seasonings. This year we kept it pretty simple and went with a tablespoon of garlic powder a teaspoon of salt. Seasoning salt works nice, and things like dill pickle popcorn seasonings are even pretty good. Try taco blends too. There are lots of options – I’ve yet to find a dud. LOL
Click the links below to watch the progression of our seeds as they boil:
All told, they boiled for about 25 minutes. You’ll notice the colour change, then keep boiling until most of the liquid is gone (the steam clouded the iPhone lens):
At this point you have two choices. You can pop them directly in the oven (on a buttered, oiled, sprayed cookie sheet or on parchment paper)… or you can dry them first. If I know I’ll have time to babysit them I’ll often pop them in the oven. Kid kid has a hard time having the patience needed to dry them out any other way. So at 350 degrees it will be between an hour and an hour and a half – and do watch them carefully because cooking time varies.
We didn’t get started on the process until the evening (we usually start on them in the afternoon), so it means I get to do them up the leisurely way – which I prefer. I spread them out on a sheet to dry, and then put the girl to bed. Which is where we are now:
Tomorrow morning, when they’re nice and dry, I’ll pop them into the oven at 350 degrees for about fifteen minutes. The house already smells yummy from having them boil, but tomorrow will smell even better as they roast. I’ll pull them out to cool for a wee bit, and we’ll have my favourite treat. Some we’ll bag up in a ziplock to keep in my bag as a treat for when we’re out and about and happen to feel snacky. But most of them will get eaten before they have a chance to be bagged… though… I will stash away a small handful or two, just for me. LOL
So that’s it! That’s how you make the very best homemade roasted pumpkin seeds – from scratch. Follow the steps I’ve outlined here, and they’ll be perfect, every time!
Joyous Samhain and Happy Halloween!
It rained in the morning, it rained all night, but for a brief time in the early afternoon the rain paused… and out came the camera. Here are a few shots I captured in my front yard – never venturing too far from the door, just in case the rain started pouring down again.
Got a favourite? I’d love to know which, and why. 🙂