Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Growing up, we always carved our Halloween pumpkins as a family, all around the kitchen table, scooping out the slimy insides of the pumpkin before creating our masterpieces. Well, ok, I am not an artist but I can make one happy little pumpkin with triangle eyes and a goofy grin. As I have gotten older I have learned to be a lot less wasteful, so this year I decided to save those pumpkin seeds and eat them as snack. You can actually eat the shells on these; once they are roasted the shells become quite tender. Mind you, this can be a high caloric snack, but they have wide range of health benefits - while 1 cup of pumpkin seeds will run you close to 300 calories, you get about 12 grams of protein and almost half your daily recommended dose of magnesium. Pumpkin seeds are great for going on a hike when you need a good dose of protein, fat and salt to get you to the top of a mountain. I always throw some kind of nut or seed into my hiking pack, I like to eat these when I am going out for a day-long hike. 

3 cups of raw pumpkin seeds (from a medium sized pumpkin). 

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Carve a circle around the stem of the pumpkin using a serrated knife or a pumpkin carver. Lift off the top and use a spoon to carve out the insides. 

MEG'S TIP: I actually used this pumpkin for another recipe, so I used a large knife and chopped my pumpkin into half, and scooped out the seeds that way, instead of sticking my hand into the whole pumpkin. If you are making a jack-o-lantern, go ahead and scoop our the seeds/ strings as you normally would. 

Get out a small bowl; using your hands, pull out all of the seeds from the pumpkin. Really run your fingers through the strings to make sure you get out all of the seeds. Once you have removed all of your seeds, place them into a colander and rinse them off with cold water to get all of the stringy bits off. Once that is done, dry off the seeds with paper towels. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the seeds into a bowl and mix with the olive oil, making sure to coat the seeds well (but you do not want them to be greasy, hence the small amount of oil). Spread the seeds evenly on the parchment paper. 

Place the seeds into the pre-heated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes (monitor your oven to make sure you do not over cook the seeds). Once cooked, remove from the oven and sprinkle with the salt. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes and enjoy!

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