Saturday, October 17, 2009

roasting pumpkin seeds

Roasted pumpkin seeds have a nutty flavor and are packed with protein and fiber. Pumpkin seeds are delicious toasted and salted, but they're even better flavored with sweet and savory spices.

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Rinse pumpkin seeds under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings. (This is easiest just after you've removed the seeds from the pumpkin, before the pulp has dried.) Place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet, stirring to coat. If you prefer, omit the oil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and bake at 325 degrees F until toasted, about 25 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes. Let cool and store in an air-tight container.

Why Carve Pumpkins?

The story of the Jack o'Lantern comes from Irish folklore. Jack was a crafty farmer who tricked the Devil into climbing a tall tree. When the Devil reached the highest branch, Jack carved a large cross in the trunk, making it impossible for the Devil to climb down. In exchange for help getting out of the tree, the Devil promised never to tempt Jack with evil again. When Jack died, he was turned away from Heaven for his sins and turned away from Hell because of his trickery. Condemned to wander the Earth without rest, Jack carved out one of his turnips, took an ember from the devil, and used it for a lantern to light his way. He became known as "Jack of the Lantern."

My FAVORITE roasted Pumpkin Seeds with Cinnamon and Salt

4 cups pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
vegetable oil cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet and spread the seeds out in an even layer. Lightly sprinkle with salt and cinnamon. Bake for about 5 minutes, then stir the seeds. Season with salt and cinnamon again. Continue baking, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until seeds are toasted.

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