Monday night was a treat. I got to watch my husband and granddaughter carve a very traditional jack-o’-lantern. Sora decided to roll up her sleeves and dig her hands in the stringy orange pumpkin innards, searching for seeds she carefully dropped into a plastic bowl.
Reggie and I talked to her about jack-o’-lanterns and how her Great-Grandpa L.H. was always the pumpkin carver in the family. Reggie showed her how to notch the cut-out pumpkin top, matching it to a notch on the pumpkin, so he could easily replace it when the carving was done.
"Can I put it back on when we’re finished?” she asked. Of course, we told her. That’s the only way you learn.
Reggie told her it was her great-grandpa who had taught him how to notch it. Love, love, love these memories and traditions.
We started a new one Monday night, I guess. I have never roasted pumpkin seeds. I had planned to do it last year, but I didn’t tell Reggie that, and the seeds were tossed out with lots of gooey pumpkin slime and balled up newsprint.
I read several online recipes. The process is simple. You dry out the seeds in the oven, then add a little oil and seasoning and put them back in a little longer. That’s it! The result is a crunchy, nutty-flavored snack. And it’s a healthy one as well.
Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are a good source of zinc, fiber, iron and potassium.
The process of toasting them is very simple. So if you’re carving a jack-o’-lantern for Halloween, be sure to save the seeds and make a fun and healthy snack.
Editor’s note: The Wilson Times publication Wilson Woman would love to include holiday recipes from our readers for an upcoming publication. Please send to email@example.com or mail to Bradley Hearn, c/o The Wilson Times, P.O. Box 2447, Wilson NC 27894. Deadline is Friday.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Olive oil
- Seasoning, such as salt, garlic salt, seasoned salt, cinnamon sugar (use butter instead of olive oil if using cinnamon sugar)
Remove pulp from pumpkin seeds and rinse in a colander. Pour pumpkin seeds in single layer on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or prepared with baking spray.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until dry.* Stir halfway through.
Remove from oven and toss with olive oil (it only takes a little) and sprinkle with seasoning.
Return to oven and cook for another 25 minutes until golden brown. Stir halfway through.
*Some recipes cook for an hour at a lower temperature, adding seasoning and oil at the beginning. I cooked mine as listed above.)