A scary nutritious DIY: Roast those pumpkin seeds

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GRN Reports

When you’re done digging the mush out of your pumpkin, be it a pie pumpkin or one destined to scare young candy beggars, rescue the seeds.

Pumpkin seeds are full of protein and vitamins and minerals, notably zinc, which helps boost our immune system. See how nature provides? A fall food delivers what we need as winter approaches. They’re also darn tasty, a nutritious, crunchy snack great for around the house and in school lunches.

Challenge #1: You need to separate the seeds from their slimy environs. Experienced food bloggers and cooks recommend floating the seeds in a bowl of water to work the guts off. Expect to get your hands messy.

Challenge #2: Prepping the seeds. If you just toss them in the oven at this point, you’ll be disappointed with the jerky that results. You must either soak or simmer the seeds first, much like you would with dried peas or beans. You can soak them for a few hours, or bring them to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes, that’s the method recommended here at Angela Liddon’s “Oh She Glows” vegan blog.

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Now, the seeds are ready for roasting. Lightly coat them with olive oil and toss them with sea salt, or not, and roast them quickly, at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes; or set the oven temperature to 325 or 350 and cook them for longer. Some nutrition experts suggest even lower temperature roasting to preserve the integrity of the seeds’ fats, and say not to roast them for longer than 20 minutes.

Again, we defer to the experts: Liddon endorses lower temperature roasting to achieve more even crunchiness. Test as you go, so you don’t overcook them, she advises.

If you’re looking for a less salty snack, we can relate. You can coat the seeds with a dozen different spices and oils, using chili powder, curry and other flavors. Check out these simple recipes for flavoring your seeds from Sierra Club.



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