It's only a day before Halloween here in London and you most probably have stacked up on pumpkins at home. If you wonder what to do with the leftover seeds, please, don't throw them out. Roasting the pumpkin seeds is not a rocket science. Cooked at home, they will be more delicious, as you will make them exactly as you please. Better watch out for your cooker's capabilities during this heavy cooking season – you have to do some serious oven cleaning before or after your cooking batches, because you'll want to retain the real flavour of the meals.
Scrub Off Your Rusty Oven & Get Roastin' Pumpkin Seeds
Cooking tasty meals for Halloween can always leave you with plentiful of pumpkin seeds hanging around. What you can actually do is light up your oven, roast them and enjoy them as a healthy snack before your favourite TV show. You can salt the seeds or use whatever spices you want that answer to your own preferences. Another thing you should know about them is that pumpkin seed shells are completely ok to eat and are a perfect source of fibers – a proven champion of good health.
- Preparation time: 10 minutes (provided the seeds are already clean and dry, which takes 24 hours)
- Cooking time: 1 h in a clean oven
- Total time: 1 h and 10 minutes
- Products: pumpkin seeds, cooking spray, olive oil or butter
- Spices and additions: salt, garlic powder, onion powder, flour or other spices of your own choice
Wash and rinse the pumpkin seeds in a strainer. Use your fingers, so you can effectively clean the pulp. Strain the pumpkin seeds several times and throw out the cellulose. Cover a baking sheet with them and spread them out evenly, so that the seeds can dry overnight. Heat the oven up until 120°C/250°F/Gas Mark 1/2. Cover the bottom of an appropriate baking dish with baking paper or non-stick foil. Apart from helping you unstuck the seeds after roasting, the foil will also protect the cooker and the dish from the oil and burned-on cooking leftovers, meaning less cleaning later on.
Drop the dry pumpkin seeds on top and sprinkle with olive oil, butter or cooking spray. Sprinkle more with salt, garlic or onion powder, your favourite spices, red hot chili pepper or anything else. The easiest and fastest way will be coating them with salt and flour. After that you tuck them in the oven. Roast for about an hour, while at the same time stir them every 10 to 15 minutes, until the pumpkin seeds slightly brown.
Cook the pumpkin seeds right before eating them. If you have to store them, do it in an air-tight containers at room temperature up until 3 months or store in a fridge for until a year.
If you like the roasted pumpkin seeds extra salty, soak them overnight in a solution of ¼ cup of salt and 2 cups of water. After that dry them for one additional day, and then follow the above roasting procedure.
Tip: Have a good sweep of your oven, especially before the Halloween cooking. You might find it quite hard to scrape all the built-up grease from the cooking, so try and schedule one day, one week before Halloween to clean out the dirt from the stove's chamber, its racks and trays, as well as hob burners. Prep it well and consider yourself buying a rubber liner – oven cleaning London technicians have it figured all out as a proven method – it does help retain most of the dirt and spilled out food. It will be especially useful to you around the holidays.
Nutritional Facts about Pumpkin Seeds
The pumpkin seeds are extremely healthy. They contain proteins, fibres, iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus and useful amino-acids – arginine and glutamic acid.
The pumpkin seeds also contain zinc, calcium, potassium, folic acid, selenium and niacin. They contain the useful linoleic acid that benefits the arteria walls. This tasty snack can easily fit into a healthy diet - however, it's important to note that people with kidney problems should avoid pumpkins and their seeds because of the potassium.
I don't recommend you buying roasted pumpkin seeds, because the production process causes them to lose a better part of their useful qualities. Better take them out of the pumpkin yourself. They are quite valuable if raw, too, but it is very difficult to clean their shells that way.
You can add the pumpkin seeds in your breakfast oatmeal or in different salads. That will not only improve its quality, but it will diversify the taste, too.