Homemade Pumpkin Seeds

UPDATE: the new post about this recipe is found here. But the main recipe is still in this one :)

Confession: I’m having a secret love affair with the month of October and Fall season. It’s been going on for more than 10 years now, but it’s true. I can’t help myself. Every year, around this time of year, I begin to find myself indulging in all things fall: being a “leafer”, taking a million photos (more than usual) of the pretty colors, wearing hoodies and sweaters, enjoying football (college more than Pro – GO GREEN!), going to apple orchards and cider mills, picking pumpkins, and of course….making homemade pumpkin seeds. I could eat pumpkin seeds all year round, and I would, but most packaged, brand name bags of seeds are over salted and not delicious. This is why I love this time of year when I can make them myself. And now I’ll tell you how to do it too. The basic recipe comes from Simply Recipes, but as usual, I never fully follow those…

Here we go:

Ingredients:
2 medium pumpkins (we picked ours from a local patch)
salt
olive oil
water

To prepare:

Preheat your oven to 400º. You also want to move your racks around so you have one on the top. So do that.IMG_9197First we took our two pumpkins and used our lovely pumpkin carving tools (available at most stores like Target, Meijer, etc.), cut off the top as if we were going to actually carve the dudes. [We're actually waiting until it gets a little later in the month before we carve our pumpkins – we bought these from a patch solely to make seeds. We are hardcore.] Anyway, once you have the top off, you may need to cut the opening wider so your hand can fit in there to scoop out the guts and separate out the seeds. As you can see above, we’ve demolished our pumpkins and thrown them away. Should be noted: protect the surface you’re working on. No need to make a huuuuge mess…unless you really want to of course.
IMG_9199Ta-da! Seeds!
IMG_9200They’re all gooey, but there were a ton of seeds! Mmm!IMG_9206Take your bowl of seeds to the sink and begin rinsing them under water. I loved the way the seeds felt. I’m weird.
IMG_9207Drain the seeds into a colander and continue to rinse them.IMG_9208Looks pretty clean!IMG_9210Put a huge stock pot or boiling pot on the stove and bring your seeds next to it. Using a 1/2 measuring cup, measure out your seeds, and put them into the pot. Keep in mind how much you measured! This is important to do because of the next step. We measured out about 2 1/4 cups of seeds.IMG_9212Then you’ll add 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of seeds. So basic math here people: we had 2 1/4 cup of seeds, so we added 4 1/2 cups of water to our pot.IMG_9214Next, add 1 tablespoon of salt for every cup of seeds you have. So we had a little over 2 tablespoons. If you want, you can go light on the salt now, since you can always add more later before you bake the seeds.
IMG_9215Stir to make them happy.

**Once you’ve done this, put a lid on the pot, put it on high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water and seeds are boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 more minutes**

IMG_9216Once they’re finished boiling and simmering, drain the seeds into a colander and shake the excess water. Oooh steamy!
IMG_9218Spread a little olive oil on a baking sheet (1-2 tablespoons or a couple shakes if you have yours bottled/spouted) and spread your seeds out in a single layer.
IMG_9219Remember a little while ago when I said you could add more salt before you bake the seeds? This is what we’re doing here. You could also try different seasonings like: curry (mmm!), cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, etc. Whatever your heart desires.
IMG_9220Place the pan on the top rack of your oven and bake at 400º for 15-20 minutes. We actually baked ours for 15 minutes, took the pan out, stirred the seeds around, and then put it back in for an additional 5-10 minutes. The seeds are done when they are golden brown.
IMG_9221If you’re patient, let them cool for 5-10 minutes before diving in. But I have no class and devoured them in a matter of minutes.
IMG_9223Enjoy! Happy Fall :)

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