Sharon Hubbs-Kreft, Herbalist - Amazing Grace Herbals LLC

  (Keyport, New Jersey)
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Oven Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

By now, all of us with children have at least purchased one sugar pumpkin or jack be little to keep out little one's quiet and yet excited for the Halloween season. But, how many sugar pumpkins can you really have, why not make one of the best and healthiest snacks for your "little monsters" this autumn season and even give them a scare on Halloween!!

How to make oven roasted pumpkin seeds:

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Scoop out the inside of your pumpkin with a heavy spoon.

2. Seperate the seeds from the "goo" and place them in a strainer. My daughter loved doing this for the first time last year, she was covered in pumpkin goo from head to toe! Here's a little trick though, when you plan on carving the pumpkin, bring it inside for at least a few hours before you carve - I say this because the insides are very cold and your little one's hands will get pretty chilly if they are digging around in the pumpkin.

3. Rinse off the seeds and shake off the excess water - best the adult do this, I had seed everywhere last year when my daughter wanted to give it a try.

4. In a large bowl (make sure its a big bowl when the kids do this, seeds tend to get everywhere), toss the seeds with a bit of Grapeseed Oil (my favorite, loaded with Omega-3's) a dash of Sea Salt and other spice you may like. I use Cinnamon and Nutmeg for a pumpkin pie flavor. I also like Cinnamon and Clove. Turmeric, Cumin,Curry and Coriander are great too and if you have someone who loves hot stuff, try a little Cayenne pepper - good but spicy! You can also add a dash of brown sugar to the above spices if your kids have a sweet tooth rather then the salt, also good if you cannot have salt. Of course, you don't have to add any of the above and just roast plain.

5. Spread the seeds evenly on a large greased cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Your kitchen will smell so yummy!

6. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and remove from cookie sheet with a spatula. I like to store them in a glass jar.

What to spook the little monsters . . . tell them they are baked,dried, crusty fingernails from a mummy and leave them around the house on Halloween to give all a scare!!!

We try and save every seed we can so the seeds will last us through the winter and spring. They are a great, healthy and nutritious snack. You can use the pumpkin meat too, there are lots fo recipes online and here in the Local Harvest blogs for making pumpkin soup and pies.

Baking blessings and enjoy!!

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