~more recently updated recipes~
2007 ORIGINAL POST Yesterday an e-mail arrived from Ralph, a most careful reader of yesterday's recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple Glaze. No good! he objected to a detail. "One of the most nutritious and yummy things is the seeds. Don't discard." And good luck, this time I didn't. What do you do with pumpkin seeds? Any tips to share?
So -- what to do with pumpkin seeds, you know, the gunky ones scooped from Halloween jack o' lanterns and pie pumpkins and yes, even other winter squash?
This is the third year I've tried to create a good recipe for pumpkin seeds. I've got it! The taste is a combination of spicy and sweet - with a little bite that yumm, just works. It's an easy concept recipe: just toss raw seeds briefly into a hot simple syrup, then toss in a spice rub, then with big crystals of demerara sugar.
PUMPKIN SEED TIPS
- HOW to CLEAN PUMPKIN SEEDS After scooping the seeds out of the pumpkin, put them in a colander and run water through them, working the seeds with your hands to remove the bits of flesh still attached. This takes a few minutes but makes for pumpkin seeds worth eating.
- HOW to DRY PUMPKIN SEEDS Don't let paper towels come within a yard of pumpkin seeds! The pumpkin seeds stick to the paper just don't want to come off. Instead use parchment or foil.
- DO YOU EAT the WHOLE PUMPKIN SEED? The pumpkin 'seed' itself is actually housed inside a hull, a fibrous shell. To some palates, the hull is decidedly unpalatable. But for me, whole pumpkin seeds are edible, in fact, chewy delicious and easy to enjoy one or two at a time rather than by the handful.
2011 UPDATE This is one of those sleeper recipes, one that jumps up and surprises you. The spicy-sugary combination is slightly addictive, especially after the pumpkin seeds have dried well over a couple of days. Make a double batch, you'll be glad you did!
SPICY SWEET PUMPKIN SEEDS
Time to table: 2 hours
Makes about 1 cup
Seeds from a pumpkin or winter squash, washed well (dried in a single layer on parchment or foil if done ahead of time)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
SPICE RUB (good on pork, too!)
1/2 tablespoon Spanish paprika (also called pimentón, it's smoky goodness)
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (I used a coarse ground)
Demerara or large-crystal sugar (turbinado, raw sugar) or cane sugar
SIMPLE SYRUP Bring water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Drop seeds into hot liquid and let cook for 4 - 5 minutes. Drain seeds in a colander.
SPICE RUB Mix ingredients in a small bowl.
ASSEMBLE Place still-wet seeds on a piece of parchment. Toss with the spice rub to lightly coat. Toss with just enough sugar to coat. Separate into individual seeds or small clumps to dry. Let dry thoroughly. Best after drying for a day or two.
~ more pumpkin recipes ~
last week's delicious and easy
~ Pumpkin Bars ~
my long-time favorite
~ Autumn Pumpkin Bread ~
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