Monday, November 3, 2014

Pumpkin Seeds

Halloween is one of my family's favorite holidays.  I usually start off by making orange-pumpkin-shaped pancakes for breakfast (I'll post my pancake recipe later).  Then we dress up, attend school costume parades, visit family, carve pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns, eat warm comfort foods, trick-or-treat around our neighborhood, watch movies and roast pumpkin seeds in the oven.  The aroma of these roasted pumpkin seeds is what Halloween smells like at our house.

These are easy to make, and are a delicious snack - on Halloween and for a few days after.  That is about all they last because they are so good.

A note about Worcestershire sauce:  Traditional Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies.  There are plenty of vegan brands though, such as 365 brand (Whole Foods' brand), Annie's, The Wizard's, or Wan Ja Shan.

2 cups of pumpkin seeds - DO NOT rinse off the wet orange coating and minuscule pieces of pulp
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 teaspoons seasoned salt

1.  Cut off the tops of your pumpkins, and remove the seeds first.  Hands work best to do this - think of it as a pumpkin spa treatment for your fingers!  Remove any large pieces of pulp or pumpkin guts from the seeds, but don't worry if there are very small pieces attached.  Resist the temptation to rinse the seeds clean of all pulp and wet orange coating - that stuff adds to the taste of the seeds and makes them delicious.  If you rinse off all that goodness, the seeds are not as tasty.  After all the seeds are removed from the inside of the pumpkins, then scoop out all the stringy guts and pulp to prepare your pumpkins for carving.
2.  Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
3.  Determine how many cups of seeds you have.  The recipe above is for every ~2 cups of pumpkin seeds.
4.  In a large mixing bowl, pour the olive oil, vegan Worcestershire sauce and seasoned salt evenly over the seeds.  Mix well to distribute the sauce and seasonings throughout all the seeds.
5.  Dump the seeds onto a rimmed non-stick cookie sheet, and spread out evenly onto the sheet.  Put a maximum of ~4 cups of seeds onto each sheet used.
6.  Place the seeds into the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  Stir the seeds every ~20 minutes and bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes.  The time will depend on how many seeds you have, and the size of the seeds used.  The seeds should no longer stick together when stirred, be crisp, dry and light golden brown when done.

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