Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

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It’s with food like this when I get amazed by what heat can do to the taste and flavor of things. Raw pumpkin seeds? Not for me. But toasted? Absolutely phenomenal. They’re great on top of salads, pasta, yogurt, you name it. You can also just eat them as a snack or add some dried cranberries to make a mini homemade trail mix.

This barely qualifies as “recipe” but that’s the beauty of it- it only requires one step. Make a big batch and have these seeds as a delicious snack all week long.

The “Recipe”

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • pinch sea salt (optional)

Oven Method:

Preheat oven to 350. Put pumpkin seeds on a dry baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt (optional). Put in oven for about 5-10 minutes (it really depends on the oven and other variables). Check every few minutes or so, especially once it’s getting closer to the end. Once the seeds are beginning to brown and you can smell them, they’re done. Remove from pan and put aside to cool.

 

Skillet Method:

Get a small skillet and put over medium heat. Put pumpkin seeds on skillet. Let sit there for a minute or two, and then stir frequently (like every 20 seconds or so) for a few more minutes until they are brown and fragrant. It should take in total about 5 minutes. Warning: DO NOT walk away! I can almost guarantee that you’ll burn them (I’ve done it many times before).

Store pumpkin seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dry area for up to 2 months.

 

To use the oven or the stovetop?

This is a tough question. In culinary school, we were taught to absolutely use the oven when toasting nuts and seeds because if you use a stovetop, it’s very easy to burn the seeds. However, when I’m standing in the kitchen needing a quick topping for my salad that’s all ready to go, there’s no way I want to wait for the oven to heat up and all that jazz. So I end up just toasting them in a skillet. You may burn a few (as you can probably see above!) and you need to watch them closely, but it is much quicker.

BOTTOM LINE: If you’re a perfectionist, always use the oven. If you don’t mind cutting a few corners here and there to save time, use a skillet. However, I’d ALWAYS suggest using an oven if you’re doing big batches that are more than a cup.

 

What to Do With Them

  • The obvious thing: eat them plain.
  • Make a fancy granola by adding dried cranberries, dark chocolate, and other nuts.
  • Put them on top of salads as a fun topping.
  • Add them to roasted vegetables for a crunch.

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