Monday, 2 November 2009

SOS (Save Our Seeds!)

While I didn't go to a Halloween party this year, I did try to acknowledge the day by buying a pumpkin. The idea was to make a pumpkin cheesecake (more on that later) but after butchering the pumpkin so I could steam its flesh, I also ended up with quite a few pumpkin seeds. And since I'm loathe to let things go to waste, I decided to roast the seeds instead of chucking them. It's really simple to do, and the seeds make a tasty beer snack.

Once you've scooped all the seeds out of the pumpkin, try and get rid of as much of the stringy pulp as you can. I did this by placing the seeds into a bowl full of water, and picking out the pulp by hand. It doesn't take much time. After you've cleaned the seeds up, place them on a tray or plate to dry for at least half an hour.

When the seeds are fairly dry, start preheating the oven on a low heat - I set mine to 120 degrees Celsius. Place the pumpkin seeds on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Melt a knob of unsalted butter and  pour it over the seeds, coating them evenly. (And if you're microwaving the butter to melt it, please make sure you keep an eye on it or cover it with sometime, or else it explodes all over your microwave and you end up having to clean the greasy bits up. I got my poppet to help me with melting the butter, so he wouldn't feel left out, and that's exactly what happened. Thrice. Because he never learns from his mistakes.)

Add about a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of dried garlic flakes to the buttery seeds, then pop them into the oven to roast for about 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don't get burnt, and remove them when they get golden-brown. Once they get cool enough to handle, they're ready to be eaten!

Although I used salt and garlic (you can use fresh minced garlic too, by the way, I just didn't have any), you can adapt the recipe to make a sweet version too. Just be sure to use unsalted butter, and substitute the savoury flavourings for something sweet, like cinnamon and some honey, maybe?

I also made some pumpkin biscuits and a pumpkin cheesecake that night, so check back here soon for the other recipes!

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