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Pimp my pumpkin seeds!
September 27, 2010 2:22 PM   Subscribe

Well, guys, it's hard squash season again (finally!) and I intend to roast and nom every seed I can get my hands on. What are your best pumpkin seed recipes and tips?

My go-to is spicy seeds:
I soak them in a mixture of tabasco sauce, salt, chili pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika, garlic powder, and a little liquid smoke for at least an hour, then bake at 400 for 15 minutes.

They are delicious, but I'm interested in branching out. My forays into sweet seeds have ended in an unappealing, sticky, mostly flavorless mess.


My question comes in three parts:

1) What are your favorite recipes/flavor combos for pumpkin seeds? I have only had success doing salty/spicy combos. Is there some trick I don't know for injecting any flavors other than salty/spicy into a pumpkin seed?

2) Since the big, orange, carve-em-up pumpkins are kind of intractable, I would like to eat the seeds of every hard-shelled squash. I have successfully eaten butternut squash seeds, acorn squash seeds, and carnival squash seeds. Are there any squash seeds that are inedible for reasons of poison or yuckiness?

3) Do you have a source, preferably a brick-and-mortar location--I live in Chicago--for raw (not roasted! I want to roast them myself!) pumpkin seeds during the off-season? Trader Joe's does not have them; they have bags of raw pepitas, which technically are pumpkin seeds, but they're shelled and taste like dirty hippies.

Thanks!
posted by phunniemee to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
My traditional recipe has been to mix up the seeds with some olive oil, rosemary, and a little salt and then roast 'em on a cookie sheet. If big pumpkins are too much of a pain, maybe you could use smaller pie pumpkins?
posted by nickmark at 2:28 PM on September 27, 2010


1) What are your favorite recipes/flavor combos for pumpkin seeds?
I usually sprinkle them liberally with a mixture of salt, sugar, and sweet spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice), then roast. The salty-sweet, slightly pumpkin-pie-spiced flavor makes them a hit. Sometimes I add a tiny dash of heat from paprika or red pepper flakes.

2) Since the big, orange, carve-em-up pumpkins are kind of intractable, I would like to eat the seeds of every hard-shelled squash. I have successfully eaten butternut squash seeds, acorn squash seeds, and carnival squash seeds. Are there any squash seeds that are inedible for reasons of poison or yuckiness?

Not sure why the pumpkins are "intractable" to you - I regularly cook them, but I've found that Hubbards tend to have the meatiest. Many of the other winter varieties, while perfectly edible, have such poor meat-to-shell ratios that they're worthless, IMO.

All squash are species from genus Cucurbita, and it's highly unlikely that any of them have poisonous seeds. Native varieties (species) from around the world have been eaten for millenia by almost every culture.
posted by IAmBroom at 3:08 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


And by "meat" and "shells", I'm referring to the endosperm & husk of the seeds themselves, not of the whole squash fruit! Sorry for the confusing terminology.
posted by IAmBroom at 3:09 PM on September 27, 2010


Don't make them myself, but love tamari-roasted pumpkin seeds.
posted by cyndigo at 3:16 PM on September 27, 2010


We do sugar and cayenne. Awesome.
posted by peachfuzz at 3:26 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


You have to let the seeds dry before you cook them. Many people make the mistake of scooping them out, cleaning off the goop, and popping them in the oven. This is a mistake. Lay them out on a clean tea towel* for 1-3 days first.

* Not paper towels - the seeds stick, and then you can never pick all the paper off.
posted by ErikaB at 4:11 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


We scoop em, rinse em, dry em (not for days though) and then use olive oil spray and Old Bay. Or curry powder. Soooo good.
posted by JoanArkham at 5:35 PM on September 27, 2010


I put pumpkin seeds in my homemade granola (along with dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and maple syrup).
posted by min at 5:43 PM on September 27, 2010


This pumpkin seed recipe from Martha Stewart is pretty amazing.
posted by TrarNoir at 6:37 PM on September 27, 2010


I think I remember Rick Bayless making some guacamole featuring toasted pumpkin seeds on one episode of Mexico One Plate at a Time.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 7:14 PM on September 27, 2010


Li hing mui powder is made from a type of plum (and some other stuff) that is popular in Hawaii. It has a unique sweet and tangy taste. It is put on fruit, candy, and other items. I like to put it on popcorn. It is amazing. If you want to try for sweet seeds without making a sticky mess, I would put them in the oven brushed with butter rather than oil or spray and then shake them around in a plastic bag with li hing mui when they are done to coat them. It's powerful though, so don't use too much.
posted by delicate_dahlias at 9:06 PM on September 27, 2010


Seconding the Martha Stewart recipe posted by TrarNoir.
posted by thejanna at 6:44 AM on September 28, 2010


This spice blend from Chowhound for roasted pumpkin seeds sounds way over the top, but man, it is to die for.
posted by ifjuly at 8:08 AM on September 28, 2010


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