03 November 2007

pumpkin seeds

My Pumpkin

If you carved a pumpkin this week, then you had a bunch of pumpkin seeds laying around afterward. I've always loved roasting them for a post-carving snack.

I wanted to say a little more than "spread on tray and put in oven" for this post, so I turned to Wikipedia for some pumpkin seed info. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of stuff that's good for us: iron, zinc, essential fatty acids, potassium, and magnesium. There's also new research showing that they are high in tryptophan. So when you're feeling jittery from eating all that trick-or-treating loot, down a handful of pumpkin seeds to help you relax.

There are various "favorite" ways for preparing pumpkin seeds. I separated mine from the pulp and rinsed them in a colander. Then I forgot about them and left them to dry overnight in the sink. The next morning I spread them on a foil-lined baking sheet and lightly salted them. I baked them at 350 for about 15 minutes. They were crispy and light brown on the outside and just a little chewy on the inside.

First I ate them by the handful while they were still warm from the oven. Later in the day I mixed some with sweetened dried cranberries for a sweet and salty snack. Then I topped a green salad with the last of them.

Why do I only do this once or twice a year? I only roast them when I've cut up a pumpkin for some reason. It's just not the same to buy them from the store. I like to get my hands in the pumpkin guts.

This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging. This is a weekly event that collects recipes for herbs and vegetables, sponsored by Kalyn's Kitchen. This week it's being hosted by Kalyn herself, so head over on Monday to check out the weekly recap of recipes. Kalyn has begun the countdown to Thanksgiving... speaking of tryptophan.


Kalyn said...

Great Jack-o-Lantern photo! I had no idea that pumpkin seeds had tryptophan. I think you aren't the only one who only does this at Halloween, but they are really tasty aren't they. I like the idea that you're using something that would be wasted.

Stephanie said...

Thanks Kalyn! My mom always roasted the seeds and it seems so silly not to. They're already there and it takes no effort.

I didn't know about the tryptophan either, until I looked it up for this post. I thought I was just warm from the glow of childhood Halloween memories. :)

katiez said...

I baked the seeds from my pumpkin - either I didn't do it right or it's a different kind of pumpkin: they're a bit like sunflower seeds with a tough, barely edible, outer shell and a tasty, yet almost impossible to get at green, inner kernal. I could not eat them by the handful without choking on the inedible part... It's an outdoor thing - eat, spit...

Stephanie said...

Hi Katiez, I've never had that problem with any pumpkin seeds I've roasted. Hmmm. I know that the green part is called a pepita and when you buy trail mixes or granolas that have pumpkin seeds, it's usually the pepita.

Anonymous said...

I have always understood that pumpkin seeds needed peeling first, which is why I buy preprepared rather than spend hours .... What type of pumpkin are you using that does not need the seeds peeling?? Ma New Zealand.



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