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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds


Now that Halloween is over, it's time to eat those pumpkins that have been sitting around as decorations. Use the flesh to make pumpkin soup or pumpkin custard, and roast the seeds for a healthy snack. They're a good source of fiber, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, and important minerals like magnesium and zinc.

To make pumpkins easier to cut and their seeds easier to separate, I roast them for a bit first, about 20 minutes for small to medium pumpkins at 300°F. Then I slice off the top, cut them in half, and pull out the seeds with my fingers, leaving the stringy material attached to the flesh. You can remove the stringy material and seeds together, then separate them, but I find that the seeds detach more easily when the stringy material is still attached to the pumpkin.

Once I've taken out the seeds, I scoop out the stringy material and continue roasting the pumpkin halves until the flesh is thoroughly cooked. I don't rinse the seeds because any residual juice adds pumpkin flavor.

For each cup of fresh pumpkin seeds you'll need:

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4  teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon lime sea salt (or substitute regular sea salt)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon honey

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

If the coconut oil is solid, place it on top of the hot oven until it melts. Once the coconut oil has liquified, stir in the spices and honey until well-combined. Stir in the fresh pumpkin seeds until they are thoroughly and evenly coated. Pour the spiced seeds onto a baking sheet and spread them into a single layer. Transfer the spiced seeds to the oven and roast them for 20 minutes.

Stir the seeds and spread them again into a single layer. Put them back in the oven, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and roast the seeds for another hour to dry them out all the way through to the center. Turn off the oven, leaving them inside, and allow them to cool to room temperature.

Serve the spiced pumpkin seeds immediately or store in an air-tight container at room temperature until ready to eat.

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