I spent a lot of my childhood at the farm when it was my grandparents’ home. That includes lots of Halloween fun! We still get pumpkins for fall decorating, but when I was little I’d carve Jack O Lanterns with my cousins.
These pictures were taken in the farm kitchen (that was torn off and rebuilt into our open concept room). It doesn’t look like Tana or I were much impressed with the pumpkin guts!
We don’t carve Jack O Lanterns any more and lean more towards “fall” decorating, but there are still pumpkins left over at the end of the season. It seems a waste just to get rid of them so what can they be used for?
You could always compost them. If you have chickens they’re a great treat as well!
Another fall favorite is to make roasted pumpkin seeds. It’s simple to do and the longest step in the process is baking them.
First you need to cut your pumpkins open to get the seeds out. I normally cut the top off as if I were going to start a Jack O Lantern, then I cut them lengthwise down the middle so I have to halves. Then I scoop out the seeds getting off as much of the stringy pulp as I can. You can leave some, but you don’t want too much.
You should end up with a bowl of seeds that looks something like this:
Then stick them in a colander and rinse getting any lingering bits of pulp. You should end up with a bowl of seeds that look like this:
I cut up two pumpkins which yielded about a cup of seeds each. I then melted a half stick of butter in a glass bowl and added 3 teaspoons of seasoned salt. (For a different flavor profile you could use curry or cajun seasoning, but then you’d want to add additional salt.)
Stir the seeds into the butter mixture until they are evenly coated.
At this point pour the buttered seeds into a jelly roll pan or a glass baking dish and try to spread them out into a single layer as much as you can. Place the pan into an oven preheated to 300º. Set a timer for 15 minutes, then stir the seeds, spreading them back out again. Do this two to three more times for a total of 45-60 minutes. You don’t want the seeds to brown too much.
Take them out of the oven and let them cool. You can then place them in an airtight container and keep for up to three weeks.
Enjoy this fall treat and have a safe and fun Halloween weekend!
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 2 cups raw, in shell Pumpkin Seeds
- 1/2 stick Butter
- 3 teaspoons Seasoned Salt
- Remove seeds from pumpkin, removing as much pulp as you can.
- Rinse seeds in colander.
- Melt butter in microwave safe bowl. Add seasoned salt. Stir to mix.
- Add pumpkin seeds. Stir to mix.
- Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on jelly roll sheet or glass baking pan.
- Place in oven preheated to 300º.
- Stir at 15 minute intervals, cooking for a total of 45-60 minutes.
- Let cool and place in an airtight container for up to three weeks.