When slow-roasted with a little salt and butter, pumpkin seeds make delicious snacks rich in nutritious minerals such as zinc. When I was growing up, carving pumpkins always meant that my mother would ask us to help her collect and wash the pumpkin seeds. She would then roast them in the oven until they were golden brown, filling the house with their rich, nutty aroma. I’ve never been able to make them as perfectly as she did, but this is her recipe:
- pumpkin seeds from 1 or more pumpkins
- 1 tablespoon butter
Wash the pumpkin seeds to remove all the pulp, and place in a bowl. Make sure the pumpkin seeds are completely dry. Melt the butter in a pan and then pour, bit by bit, into the nuts, tossing while you go. They key is not to use too much butter, but just enough to lightly coat the seeds. Smaller pumpkins may require less than 1 tablespoon of butter, larger ones more. Add salt. Preheat the oven to 250F; spread the seeds out over a baking pan and bake, turning occasionally, until crisp and lightly golden browned — about 30 to 45 minutes. Overcooking causes the nuts to toughen and lose flavor.
American Indian Variation
Wash the pumpkin seeds thoroughly, and place them in a bowl. Cover with cold water to which just enough salt has been added that it is still drinkable, and let soak overnight. Drain the seeds, place them on a cookie sheet, and cook in a low oven—-250 F—-until they are crisp and golden brown.