October 31, 2010

Sweetly Spiced Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Perhaps, like me, you spent this Halloween weekend in search of the perfect pumpkin. In many people's case, the perfect pumpkin is the biggest, tallest pumpkin in the patch (or grocery store), but in my case the perfect pumpkin was one that could fit into my bike basket so that I could pedal home with my prize. Luckily, the pumpkin that did fit into my basket was fairly sizable, somewhat tall, and evenly proportioned. It's amazing sometimes what I'm able to tow on the front of my bike.

When M and I got home we prepared to carve out a spooky face with wide, round eyes and creepy teeth. We started scooping out the flesh from inside and into a bowl, and for me, this is where the fun began, but in the kitchen. M sketched out the face while I took the bowl of pumpkin and seeds to the sink. By filling the bowl with water the pumpkin seeds float to the top, where they can be easily scooped out, rinsed, and dried quickly in a towel.

I then poured them into a bowl and tossed them with 1 T. canola oil, 1 T. natural sugar substitute, 1 t. maple syrup, 1 t. pumpkin pie spice, and 1 t. cinnamon. The pumpkin seeds were then spread on a baking sheet and put in the oven at 300 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Occasionally, I tossed them on the pan to ensure even cooking. When they were ready, the seeds were crispy, crunchy, and absolutely delicious. The combination of sugar and spice lends a wonderful flavor to the savory pumpkin seeds.

When the pumpkin had been carved and the seeds were ready, M and I munched on this festive snack while our spooky, candle-lit face flickered away from its perch on the table. We may be too old for trick-or-treating, but there are still so many ways to enjoy Halloween and every single part of that perfect, prize pumpkin!

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