Cajun Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

2015-10-31 14.39.54RECIPE #94, DAY #123

ORIGINAL RECIPE: I started with a recipe from Food Network Magazine, but ended with an Allrecipes.com recipe from ausableflyfisherman*

TIMING: 1+ hours

DIFFICULTY: Easy, but the devil’s in the details

TOOLS: A half-sheet/jelly roll pan and a strainer

COOK TYPE: Oven (slow roast)

HEALTH: There is a negligible amount of fat added here, in order to impart some great flavor and texture. However, over all, this is real whole foods, saved from what you were about to throw away. Pumpkin seeds are chock full of fiber, and contain protein as well as nutrients and vitamins and whatnot.

EXPERIENCE: There is no telling how my mom came with the tradition of roasting pumpkin seeds on pumpkin-carving night, before Halloween. But never–and I mean never–have I been at a pumpkin carving without ending the evening in a house full of the aroma of roasting seeds. Like all good traditions, it has become an integral part of the holiday.

For as long as I have been married, I have simply take the seeds and gunk out of our pumpkins, separated–by hand–most of the seeds from the gunk, thrown those seeds on a sheet pan with some salt, and roasted in a low-heat oven while keeping an eye–and a nose–on them. But the last few years, our seeds have seemed, well, lackluster, and a majority of them have gone stale and uneaten.

So I wanted to try something different, something to grab our attention and demand a spot in our lunch pails.

NOTES: Optionally, you can soak or boil your seeds in salted water and air dry overnight before roasting them. I’m not even sure exactly what the difference would be, but that is the process that some people use. It seems fancier.

This recipe is for 1 cup of pumpkin seeds. Adjust according to how much you cull.

***

  1. Preheat your oven to 300F.
  2. During annual pumpkin carving, remove the seeds and innards from your pumpkin and place on a pan. By hand, remove the seeds from most of the gunk and place seeds in a strainer. Discard of the other guts. With the cool water running, rinse the seeds and remove as much of the pumpkin as desired.
  3. In a clean towel, dry the pumpkin seeds. Place the pumpkin seeds on a half-sheet pan and spread out.
  4. In a small bowl or pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk together and pour over the seeds. Toss the seeds until they are pretty evenly coated.
  5. Roast for 45 minutes, tossing with a spatula every 15 minutes, then check to see if they are done. They should be browned and crunchy.

***

Serve as a tasty snack to counter-act all the candy.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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