Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds & Other Halloween Surprises
It’s Halloween weekend! As I’m writing this, a magnificent smell is wafting in from kitchen and so I must begin with one of my main October devotions: roasted pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas). Some people think carving is the best part of Halloween pumpkins; but for me, it’s diving into the sultry, cavernous globes to harvest handfuls of slippery seeds. I buy entire pumpkins just for the seeds, collect them from family and friends after their Halloween carvings, and store the roasties for months. And the little green & white beauties aren’t just delicious, they’re packed with protein and minerals, making them a far superior snack to chips or pretzels. (Check out this WHFoods article to learn more.)
I would happily eat roasted pumpkin seeds (and popcorn) in huge and shameless quantities every day, but considerations of weight, variety, and basic human decency force me to maintain something resembling balance and composure. So, in celebration of restraint and delayed gratification, here’s the roasted pumpkin seed recipe that will put all others to shame and perhaps convert you into addict (and vow never to buy those creepy David’s again):
The key to this recipe is to NOT wash the seeds after you’ve scooped them out. Just separate the larger wads of flesh and toss them out or compost. The slimy goo and bits of stringy stuff combined with butter form a delicious, crispy coating on the seeds.
In a 10- by 15- inch baking pan, mix 2 cups unwashed pumpkin seeds, 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire. Spread seeds out in pan. Bake in a 250° oven, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 2 hrs. Serve warm or cool. You can store the seeds in a baggie or container (let cool completely first) up to one week.**
**3 months, if you can resist temptation
Now, for a couple more Halloween surprises:
1) FOR BLOG [thanks for reading!] READERS ONLY: On Halloween Day (’till midnight on the 31st): 50% off anything in my Etsy store with the tag “Blue” (because it rhymes with “Boo”). Limit one per reader. Have fun!
2) This Halloween e-card, which is really a short movie, is great.
3) Someone sent me pictures of these pumpkins by artist Ray Villafane, who started carving them on a lark for his students in Michigan. He’s a super-talented sculptor with 6 kids (!). Check out more of his work and a carving tutorial here. I think they’re fantastic… And a little disturbing. Happy Halloween everyone!