Baking Pumpkin Seeds
What You Need to Know About Baking Pumpkin Seeds
Baking pumpkin seeds will give everyone in the family a healthy treat that is also nutritious. They are such an easy snack to grab a bag of, when you're on your way out the door, to work or school. And don't feel guilty about pumpkin seed snacks! They are full of protein, and a great source of fiber, too.
Next Halloween, after you pick and carve your jack-o-lantern with the children, use the fruit of the pumpkin for pie or tarts, and save those seeds – baking pumpkin seeds is so simple your kids can help, and an even more fun project when your entire family gets in on the game.
To get started with baking pumpkin seeds, you will need fresh seeds from a newly carved pumpkin, and also salt and vegetable oil or cooking spray. You will want a long baking sheet to put your seeds on, and a spatula to spread them out evenly. Finally, have some paper towels ready, and a newspaper as well.
OK, so how do you get those seeds out of the pumpkin? Because you can't start baking pumpkin seeds until you dig them out. Cut the top off a fresh, newly harvested pumpkin. Clean the pumpkin out, and lay everything you dig out, seeds included, on your newspaper. Then separate the fruity membrane from the seeds, and wash the seeds very well, making sure you get all the stringy matter off them. This can be a rather messy stage of the process, which your children are sure to enjoy all the more.
After you wash and dry the seeds, you're almost ready to begin baking pumpkin seeds. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While you wait for the oven to heat to your desired temperature, brush your baking sheet lightly with oil, or spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Place your seeds on the baking sheet in one layer, and use the spatula to gently turn them, so that both sides of the seeds are coated with oil or spray. You may sprinkle the seeds with salt at this point, or skip this step if you're watching your sodium intake.
Make sure the seeds are all still laying flat, in a single layer, and slide it in the oven. Now you're baking pumpkin seeds. You need to cook them for about ten or twenty minutes. Turn them once during cooking, and leave them in until they are lightly crispy, and brown. Then set the baking sheet on top of the oven, out of reach of any children, because they will be very hot.
Give your seeds a chance to cool before you eat them. Place them all in a larger container and share, or put portions of the seeds in lunch bags, to slip into the kids' lunch boxes or your purse or brief-case. They are a healthy snack, and you may soon find yourself baking pumpkin seeds again, because they'll be a big hit with your whole family.