Now, I warn you this snack doubles as an activity with your kids. Cooking with children, while great in theory and provides meaningful life skills, is not for the faint of heart. Moreover, this felt more crafty less cook-ey to me. Confession: I am not a crafty mom. Let me clarify. I am crafty. Every year I gleefully design and assemble homemade costumes (eek!) – alone in the dark. In a quiet house. I planned to be “crafty mom.” But then I became a mom. Cook with my kids? Yes. Craft with my kids? Not so much.
Alas, this felt crafty. When embarking on such strenuous missions with my offspring, I like to remain well hydrated. In the spirit of all things fall I chose the appropriate Samual Adams Octoberfest. While not my favorite seasonal brew, it was a tasty compliment to our autumn adventures.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Makes: A lot.
Active cooking time: forever.
Inactive cooking time: 1 hour
Look, Mom! This pumpkin is Organic (It wasn’t. Bless her) – Evelyn, 5
Prepare the table. (See? Total crafting business here!) I chose to use a long row, with two layers, of heavy-duty paper towels for easy cleanup; growing up we would use newspaper. I suggest while you do this, mom, have your kiddos go and wash their hands.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Get a colander and a large, strong spoon (I like metal)
Take any size carving pumpkin and cut a hole in the top. With the spoon scoop out the insides. We used the term guts – I’m not entirely sure what this says about our family, but my girls got into this concept.
Plop it out on the paper towels & dig in!
The goal is to sort through and remove all the seeds, adding them into the colander, leaving the cuts behind. Disclaimer: this is not for all kids. The child who I thought would love this, did not, and vise versa. Just another day in #momlife.
Rinse the seeds clean with warm water, pat dry, and spread out on a baking sheet or dish (single layer).
*Note: you may need more than one.
Bake for 30 minutes to dry the seeds out.
Remove from oven and add fat and spices of choice.
Add spices: Toss the seeds with olive oil, salt and your choice of spices (see below). Return to the oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 20 more minutes.
Sweet Toss with cinnamon and sugar (do not use salt in step 4).
Indian Toss with garam masala; mix with currants after roasting.
Spanish Toss with smoked paprika; mix with slivered almonds after roasting.
Italian Toss with grated parmesan and dried oregano.
Barbecue Toss with brown sugar, chipotle chile powder, and ground cumin.
Return to oven and bake another 30 minutes
Let cool and enjoy!
Tip: If you have any leftover, store in an airtight on the counter top/or pantry. Pumpkin seeds are a nutritional powerhouse and make an excellent addition to overnight oats (on top), salads, and a dinner recipe I’ll be sharing soon!