The Great Pumpkin Seed Bake-Off

I thought that title sounded a little catchier than “I spent a whole day making 4 different kinds of pumpkin seeds just because I wanted to.”

But the second is probably closer to the truth.

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Our youth carved pumpkins a week ago, and I asked them to save the seeds for me.  I’d tried baking pumpkin seeds last year, but they weren’t exactly what I was hoping for.  This year, I found 3 recipes to try and then decided to come up with my own as well.

I’ll post them in the order that I made them, and then I’ll tell you the “winner” at the end.

By the way, we had about a million pumpkin seeds (around 9 cups to be exact).  This is what it looked like after I took the ones for the first batch out:

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The first recipe was one I found on Tasty Kitchen (shock, huh?).  In fact, all of the ones but the one I made up are from Tasty Kitchen.

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (by Charity – Nutty Cook)

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups Pumpkin Seeds
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter (real)
  • Salt (coarse Is Best)

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Instructions

  • Wash pumpkin seeds getting most of the pumpkin off.
  • Melt butter in a small bowl.
  • Add Worcestershire sauce to the butter and stir.
  • Add butter mixture to the seeds and stir well.
  • Spread seeds onto a LARGE cookie sheet (the cookie sheet needs to have sides or this won’t work).

  • Sprinkle well with salt. I like to use the coarse salt, but table salt works, too.
  • Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours or until crunchy.

OH MY.  These were yummy!  They were super salty, and they were nice and crisp.  Michael even loved them!

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Seasoned Squash/Pumpkin Seeds (by Keren)

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups Squash Seeds
  • 4 cups Warm Or Hot Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Salt
  • ½ cups Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • ½ teaspoons Dried Dill
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Pepper
  • ½ teaspoons Salt

Intructions

  • Clean the squash meat off of the seeds, then soak the seeds in the water, salt and vinegar for a couple of hours. (NOTE: I did this while the other batch was in the oven and the timing was perfect.)

  • Drain and then dry the seeds with a dish towel. Then coat with the melted butter, dill, pepper and salt.

  • Spread on a greased 11×15 pan. Bake at 300°F for 1 hour. Stir occasionally to ensure even browning. Enjoy!

(Sorry — I must have forgotten to take a “finished product” pic.)

These were good, but they didn’t turn out as crispy, and the flavor wasn’t as strong.

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The last ones I tried from Tasty Kitchen were actually cooked out of the shells.  I was excited about this one since I didn’t like the shells from the ones I made last year.  Since I had actual pumpkin seeds, I had to crack open the shells to get the “meat” out.  This wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.  It took me over an hour to get a 1/2 cup (the recipe calls for 1 cup), and I gave up there.  It also made my fingernails sore for a couple of days.  So if you want to make these, I recommend going to the store and getting the inside seeds like the recipe calls for.

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Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds) (by holderman1325)

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup Pumpkin Seeds Out Of The Shell
  • 4 cloves Crushed Garlic
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 slice Lime

Instructions

  • Heat a small heavy frying pan, add the pumpkin seeds and dry-fry for a few minutes, stirring constantly as they swell. If you don’t stir them, they will burn!
  • When most seeds have swollen, add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes, stirring constantly. (What would be worse than burnt pumpkin seeds? Burnt garlic!)
  • Add the salt and the crushed red pepper and stir to mix. Turn off the heat, but keep the pan on the burner.
  • Sprinkle sugar on the seeds and shake the pan to ensure that they are all coated.
  • Squeeze some lime juice (I use it out of a green plastic lime, it’s okay!) and stir in the pan to cook some of it off and distribute the flavor.
  • Transfer to a bowl and voila – delish!
  • The seeds are kinda sticky from the juice, but still so tasty. Don’t want to get your fingers messy? Use a spoon! I usually double the recipe, but beware – that means you’ll eat twice as much!
  • Also, I buy these seeds in bulk at a food store. You can’t just pull the seeds out of a carving pumpkin and get these. Look at the picture – way different!

These were pretty good, but my cloves of garlic must have been bigger than hers.  It was even too garlic-y for me — and I love garlic!  It was so garlic-y that it almost had a hot flavor (if you’ve every overdone it on the garlic, you know what I’m talking about).  So if I make them again, I’ll buy out of the shell seeds and use less garlic.

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This last recipe is one that I made up.  I’d made sweet pumpkin seeds last year and they were ok, but not the greatest.  So this year I took parts from the other recipes (like amt of butter and temp and things) and created my own sweet version.

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Sweet Pumpkin Seeds (by Staci)

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups Pumpkin Seeds
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter (real)
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Cinnamon and Sugar

Instructions

  • Wash pumpkin seeds getting most of the pumpkin off.
  • Melt butter in a small bowl.
  • Add sugar and cinnamon to the butter and stir.
  • Add seeds to the butter mixture and stir well.
  • Spread seeds onto a cookie sheet with sides
  • Sprinkle with more sugar and cinnamon.
  • Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours or until crunchy.

These actually turned out really good.  I loved the sweet flavor.  They could have used a little less butter (probably 3 to 3.5 Tbs instead).  I’d also suggest playing around with other sweet ingredients (like nutmeg if you like that).

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The Outcome:

  1. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (with Worcestershire Sauce and Salt) was by far our favorite.
  2. My Sweet Pumpkin Seeds were next in line (even though they had a completely different flavor…so it’s hard to compare the two).
  3. Seasoned Squash/Pumpkin Seeds (with the dill weed and black pepper) was third.  It was good, but it didn’t have the edge the other two had.
  4. Pepitas (without the shell) were our least favorite.  They were just too weird and garlic-y.  And they definitely weren’t worth the hour of peeling and hurt fingernails.

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So there’s my Great Pumpkin Seed Bake-Off recipes and results!  Any I should try next time?

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–Staci

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About mselizondo

We've been married since December of 2008, and our son, Josiah, was born in July of 2012. We love spending time with family, running, music, traveling, and reaching out to others as a family. View all posts by mselizondo

12 responses to “The Great Pumpkin Seed Bake-Off

  • Sunni

    YUM!!! I want to try Roasted and Sweet. YUM!!!

  • Tawnya

    I made the roasted and the sweet today. Yum! So far the family really likes the sweet the best. I am glad I found your website (through looking for pumpkin seed recipes :)). Your transparency and candor about your faith, trials, and growth are inspiring. I also like your list of favorite books. Some I’ve read and some I would like to read. Thank you. I will probably be back often. May God continue to bless you both as you continue to be a blessing to others, even through recipes.

    • mselizondo

      Yay! I’m so glad you tried them! Thank you so much for reading. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it. 🙂 I’d love to hear about some of your favorite books! I want to add some other genres soon. Thank you! Your words were really a blessing to me today. May God bless you too. I hope you come back again!

  • Elizabeth

    You inspired me and I roasted pumpkin seeds for the first time this year. I did the salty. My co-worker brought sweet ones to school though and they were good. She had a recipe similar to the ones you made. We did a version of the worcestershire sauce/salt ones. I added garlic salt to mine because I love garlic salt. Then to half of them I sprinkled in some black/red pepper and cajun seasoning to make spicy pumpkin seeds. Paul likes the spicy ones the best, but I should have made them spicier.

    Hope ya’ll are having a great Halloween!

  • darci

    your mom and zac made the sweet seeds and they were a big hit….thank you for the recipe

  • ashley

    thanks for these i just made the 3 diff kinds but i skipped the squash one lol they were delicious

  • Robert Littlh

    {Brilliant|Outstanding|Amazing|Excellent|Great|Fantastic|Remarkable|Exceptional|Superb|Awesome|Wonderful|Extraordinary|First-class|Marvelous|Stunning|Good|Glorious|Extremely good|High quality|Gorgeous|Cool|Nice|Incredible|Very informative|Well written|Pretty cool|Totally amazing|Totally informative} {blog post|post|article|writing|blogpost}{.|..|…|!|!!|!!!}

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