Every fall, my family goes pumpkin-picking – an activity we enjoy very much! The pumpkins are displayed in our home until the end of October, when it’s ready to be carved. We like to make one of our favorite snacks using the pumpkins, roasted pumpkin seeds! This year, it wasn’t any different. The kids carved one of the pumpkins into something fun and we saved the seeds for roasting. As for all the pumpkin guts, Ayden mushed it with his hands – a great tactile sensory activity which also helps in enhancing his fine motor skills. Ayden wasn’t a big fan of touching the guts with his bare hands, so another option was to put the pumpkin guts in a zipped sandwich bag and play with it that way. With adult supervision, this activity is something that infants and toddlers can enjoy as well. In addition, picking out seeds from the pumpkin and separating the stringy guts from it is another excellent activity that helps to develop young children’s fine motor skills.
Roasting pumpkin seeds is really simple to do. We don’t really use a recipe because we’ve been doing this for years. But here’s how we did it:
- After removing the seeds out of the pumpkin, separate the guts from them and rinse the seeds off. It’s not necessary to remove all the pumpkin strings because it does add flavor to the seeds.
- Pat the seeds dry between a few sheets of paper towel.
- Inside of a medium sized bowl, add the seeds, 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle in some salt and pepper and toss!
- Spread the seeds in a single layer onto a baking sheet lined with foil, and roast in the oven on 300 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.
- Stir the seeds about every 10 minutes to prevent them from sticking together and for even roasting.
- Roast until you achieve your desired crunch! Let cool and enjoy!
Over the years, we have experienced roasting seeds using other flavors and spices. Try adding other spices (or a combination of spices) such as: garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, paprika, or parsley. For a sweet taste, try a little salt, brown sugar and cinnamon. (That was one of my favorites.) We just experiment with the spices in our kitchen and see what yummy tastes we can achieve. But this last time, we just kept it simple!
What spices would you try? Leave a comment and let me know! If you have any pumpkin seed lovers in your family, share this recipe with them!