Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
After the annual pumpkin carving contest at a friend’s house this past Saturday (she carved a pumpkin that would make Martha proud) my husband and I came home with a plastic bag full of pumpkin slop. Doesn’t really sound appetizing, but among the goo was a bounty of pumpkin seeds, just waiting to be roasted. I separated the seeds from the pumpkin flesh, rinsed them in a colander, and let them sit in the sink overnight to dry out a bit. The next evening my guy proclaimed he wanted to handle the roasting. SWEET! And oh, how sweet these seeds turned out to be. In fact, they turned out so delicious, I had to share the recipe.
My husband went to his trusted source for all things culinary, Martha Stewart. On her website he found the recipe for Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds. A few minor adjustments were made, either due to lack of ingredients, or calorie cutting. Here is the adjusted recipe:
Almost Martha’s Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
- 2 medium pumpkins worth of seeds (original recipe calls for 1)
- 5 tablespoons sugar (double the seeds would normally call for 10 tablespoons)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Hearty pinch of cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (original recipe calls for peanut oil)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide seeds between pans in an even layer on parchment. Bake seeds until dry, stirring occasionally (my husband broke the stirring up into 20 minute intervals), about 1 hour. Let seeds cool (this won’t take long).
In a medium bowl combine 3 tablespoons sugar and all the spices. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick, or cast iron, skillet over high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Cook until sugar melts and pumpkin seeds begin to caramelize, about 45 to 60 seconds. Be warned, this portion of the process can get a little smoky. Transfer caramelized seeds to bowl with spices, and stir well to coat. Try not to eat all the seeds before they cool. Store seeds in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Keeping the sugar at 5 tablespoons, rather than doubling it, cut down on empty calories. I can’t see how the seeds would have been any better than they turned out with double the amount of sugar. To me, they were perfect as is.
If you have a good roasted pumpkin seed recipe to share, please link to it in the comments, or post it on our facebook page!