After going to all the trouble to hollow out a fresh pumpkin for baking and cooking, don’t forget the pumpkin seeds. They are easy to roast and make a great snack.
And the kernels of the pumpkin seeds are quite nutritious. Of all the seeds and nuts, pumpkin kernels rate among the highest in polyunsaturated fatty acids, along with walnuts and sunflower seeds. And they are high in monounsaturated fatty acids. These are heart healthy fatty acids and provide antioxidant properties. The pumpkin seeds provide protein, vitamins and some minerals, but you’d have to eat alot to get significant amounts.
There are lots of methods of roasting pumpkin seeds. The one that I like best is to let the seeds dry overnight, after separating out all the pump when the pumpkin is hollowed out. Then coat the pumpkin seeds with a little canola or sunflower oil, salt lightly, and roast slowly in a lower temperature 300 degree oven. To 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, I added 1 tsp. canola oil and less than 1/8 tsp salt, placed the seeds in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet. Roasting time was 20 minutes. For a Cajun version, add 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning (or seasoned salt), 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce and 2 drops of Tabasco hot sauce. Roasting times vary depending on the type of oil used (butter browns quicker) and whether or not the seeds are dry.
Set the roasted seeds on your kitchen table and they will disappear quickly!