• Fall is an amazing time of year for me, and my family.  One of our favorite things about fall is the food. Pumpkin everything! I’m fairly certain that there isn’t much that has pumpkin in it that I do not enjoy eating. Right up there on my list of favorites are roasted pumpkin seeds. I eat them plain, by the handful, on salads, even baked into some homemade granola or granola bars. And of course, they are the type of food that you can prepare with your kids. Start by opening a pumpkin just like you would if you were to carve it. Reach in and remove all of the seeds from inside of your pumpkin. This is the part that my kids love to do. When you have removed all your seeds, clean them thoroughly making sure to remove any stringy pulp that may still be attached to your seeds. Pat them dry with a paper towel.

    You want them to be crispy and crunchy. Almost like a sunflower seed.

    The next step is actually toasting the seeds. You can do this one of two ways, first in the oven. Spray your seeds with non stick spray. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cook at 325 for about 20-25 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes. Check readiness  by tasting. You want them to be crispy and crunchy. Almost like a sunflower seed.

    Your other toasting option is in a heavy bottomed pan, like a cast iron skillet.

    Turn the heat to medium, once the pan is hot pour in your pumpkin seeds. Stir them continuously so that they do not stick or burn. You will know they are finished when they start to peel or split-open a little. Again, check for readiness by tasting.

    At this point, it is time to think about flavorings. I usually go for a sweet and salty combo, but whatever you like is fine, including just regular old salt.

    To make my sweet and salty ones you need brown sugar, olive oil, and salt. Easy! Remove your seeds from the oven or pan, and toss with a teaspoon or two of olive oil. Just enough to coat them. Then sprinkle them with the brown sugar and salt. Return to the heat (or oven) and cook just until the sugar melts. Keep your eyes on them, sugar can burn fast!

    Now just allow them to cool, and enjoy!

    For other fun flavors, consider a flavored olive oil. Garlic olive oil and some salt, lemon olive oil and salt.