Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin Seeds

This weekend we picked up some pumpkins from Fredmeyer since they were on sale. One thing, I have to admit, I miss about living in WA state is the pumpkin patches! Its awesome to get to walk through the field and pick out the nicest pumpkin. However, in AK we do not have real pumpkin patches. We do have the reindeer farm, which sells pumpkins, but they are all shipped up from the lower 48. We managed to pick out 3 pumpkins, brought them home and pulled the seeds out, scooped them and carved them. I carved Noah's of course because he is in a pirate "sword" fighting phase and just cant be trusted with even a dull knife, even if I'm holding it with him, so he just enjoyed helping me pick through seeds. After noticing a lot of people last week asking how to wash and roast pumpkin seeds I thought I might as well post about it here.

First pick the seeds out of your pumpkins. Don't scoop first! I've found that the easiest way to separate the seeds from the sticky pumpkin strings is to comb them out using you fingers.

Place seeds in a bowl of water and mush them through your fingers to try to separate any little bits still stuck to them.

Pour water and seeds into a colander, then rinse rinse rinse. Run your fingers through and pull out any big chunks you find.

Pour seeds back into a bowl with new water, mush around again and slowly pour into colander while watching closely for any other bits.

Run your fingers through again to make sure you don't find anymore bits, then rinse again. If your seeds are particularly messy you may have to repeat this a few times.

Spread seeds out onto a paper towel, cover with another paper towel and press to remove excess water.

Method 1: Spray a foil lined baking sheet with canola oil spray, spread seeds out on pan and sprinkle with salt. Bake until crisp. We usually taste test before turning the oven off to make sure they are actually finished. Usually takes anywhere from 5-20 minutes depending on the size and amount of seeds. 

Method 2: Soak in a salt water solution(1/4 cup pickling salt per 1 quart of water) soak for 6 hours or overnight. Put a paper towel over top to keep the seeds in the solution

Dry out on paper towels like before. Then spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet(I use these washable silicone mats I got as a Christmas gift last year. Love them!) Only bake these for long enough to  dry them out. I do this for storage. Oil greased pumpkin seeds taste best but use this method if you want to store for a longer amount of time. When you want to actually eat them you can spray them with oil salt them and bake until crisp. I usually do both some seeds both ways if we get more than we will eat within a week. These unseasoned seeds are better for using in granola recipes as well.

Pumpkins from right to left: Noah's, Seth's, and mine :)


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