October 12, 2010
For the past few years I have enjoyed making my own pumpkin puree for all the wonderful fall pumpkin recipes. Because my husband happens to love roasted pumpkin seeds we now get two fantastic treats when it is time to cut open the big orange veggies. Aside from being really yummy, did you know that pumpkin seeds are packed with benefits?
“Pumpkin seeds have mainly been used to treat prostate and bladder problems, but they have also been known to help with depression and learning disabilities. . . treat[ing] kidney problems and to eliminate parasites from the intestines. Pumpkin seeds have also been used to treat learning disorders and are generally recommended in some countries as a ‘brain food.’ Other studies have shown they prevent hardening of the arteries and help regulate cholesterol levels.”
Not a bad list for a yummy snack food!
Here is how I make mine:
1) Rise your pumpkin and then cut it half and then in half again (so into quarters).
2) Remove the seeds and put them in a strainer (try to enlist the help of small children for this part, it makes it a lot more fun:) )!
3) Rinse them.
4) Soak them overnight in salt water*. Don’t ask me how much salt to use because each time I use a different amount and then afterward think, “hmmmmm, these could have been more salty” or “that was a good amount of salt”. Therefore I suggest looking that up somewhere if you are an exact measurement sort of cook:). I usually sprinkle in enough salt to make the water taste “yucky salty”.
*I just read here that you can skip the soaking stage and just salt them before baking them (who knew!) I will try that next time around. Never mind, thanks to some kind moms who commented below I discovered that doing this makes them taste like “wood”.
5) Bake them at 325. Check them after about 10 minutes and turn them as needed with a spatula to allow them to brown on both sides. Full baking time will be about 25 minutes.
6) Allow to cool and enjoy!
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