Happy Halloween! Here are two recipes for toasted pumpkin seeds. One with kosher salt and one with spices. Both are tasty – it just depends on how spicy you like them. And the picture of the masked duo (below) is from Halloween, circa 2002. The Spiderman movie was very popular in our house back then, and rather than have two Spidermen, S opted to balance out the representation. What a guy!
Around here, Halloween is a two week celebration. S has been all kinds of scary creatures for the past week or so, as he goes on his third year of participating in the Nightmare at Beaver Lake. It’s a wonderful way to get scared, the kids get community service credits, and the proceeds go to worthy causes around the community and the world.
Tip If you don’t like the white hull, you can purchase pepitas, which are sold without the hulls on them.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Pepitas
- fresh pumpkin seeds (or pepitas – without the hull)
- kosher salt (or sea salt)
- cayenne pepper (optional)
- smoked paprika (optional)
- olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If you’re using fresh pumpkin seeds (from a pumpkin or other kind of squash), rinse the seeds, remove all squash debris, and place in a pot with water and some salt, and set to a low boil for about 15 minutes. You want to have about twice as much water as seeds in the pot. If you’re using pepitas, there’s no need to boil them – just move on to step 3.
- Drain the seeds.
- Lightly rub the seeds with olive oil as well as the baking sheets. Spread the seeds across the baking sheets in one layer.
- Sprinkle kosher salt lightly across all the seeds. Kosher salt has larger granules, so you don’t need as much kosher salt as sea salt.
- Optionally, sprinkle cayenne pepper and smoked paprika across all the seeds.
- Bake the seeds for about 15 minutes (about 10 minutes for the pepitas), or until they are as browned as you like them. I like to get them close to burning because I love that taste. If you’re baking pepitas, you probably don’t need to bake them more than 8 to 10 minutes.