Repurposing those pumpkin seeds

by Elizabeth Rose

Don't throw out those pumpkin seeds after pumpkin carving - roast them in the oven for a snack! It's a familiar feeling: Your hands covered in the innards from a pumpkin just after you've gutted it and before you begin working on your masterpiece of a jack-o-lantern. You struggle to wash it all off your hands and then chunk the stringy orange goo into the trash can while it's still laced with dozens of seeds.

Well, don't do that any more. Before you begin carving the face on your pumpkin, take a break to roast the seeds and you'll have a snack ready once you're finished.

While you're carving, put the seeds and flesh in a big bowl, just to save them. Then separate the seeds from the flesh - picking the seeds out is pretty easy, and you can place them straight into a strainer or colander and rinse them off. It's best for them to have a dry shell before you cover them with seasonings and such, so pat them with a paper towel or, if you're intent on making them completely dry, blow over them with a hair dryer.

Lay all of the seeds on a baking sheet and decide what you'd like to cover them with. Olive oil or butter are a must for the base, but after that, you can get creative. Sprinkle some Tony Chachere's on there, or go with plain salt and pepper, maybe a dash of garlic powder. Just sprinkle until it looks adequately seasoned, and then toss the seeds around so all are evenly coated. Heat the oven to 300 degrees and bake the seeds for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pumpkin seeds are packed with fiber and an impressive amount of protein, so they're a great snack for you or the kids. Save them for Halloween night so you have a salty alternative to the bowl full of candy.