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Toasting and Roasting: What To Do Post Pumpkin Carving

Last week I gave my list of fun fall activities to enjoy before the weather turns too cold. I realized, however, that I forgot to include my favorite follow-up to an evening of pumpkin carving. After sculpting, scraping and proudly displaying my carved masterpiece, I break out my cutlery, turn on my culinary prowess and turn the gooey leftover mess of pumpkin into delicious roasted pumpkin seeds!

So if you are wondering what to do now with the remnants of your pumpkins this Halloween and want to turn your pumpkin’s remains into a tasty treat, here is one of my all-time favorites!

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds:
The Seeds of One Pumpkin
Butter Flavored Cooking Spray
Seasonings to Taste

1. Separate the seeds from the fibers and pieces of the pumpkin. You can do this one of two ways. The first is to rinse the seeds in water. This is an easy and effective way to remove the excess pumpkin fibers and juice. However, I prefer to separate my seeds by hand, simply removing the fibers and large pumpkin chunks while leaving the seeds unrinsed and retaining more natural pumpkin flavor.

2. Spread the seeds onto waxed paper lining a large cookie sheet and allow to dry overnight. (If you are in a rush, you can skip the drying process, or even use a hair dryer. But in my opinion, seeds that have been allowed to dry overnight will roast better the next day.)

3. After allowing to dry overnight, preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

4. Remove the waxed paper holding the seeds from the tray and coat the cookie sheet with cooking spray.

5. Return seeds to pan and toss with cooking spray and salt to taste. (Add any optional seasonings now if you prefer.)

6. Spread lightly-coated seeds into a thin layer for even toasting.

7. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring approximately every ten minutes to ensure even toasting.

For a bolder, more customized taste experience, add one of more of the following to your seeds before toasting:

*Seasoned salt
*Cajun seasoning blend
*Black pepper
*Fresh herbs
*Cayenne pepper
*Italian seasonings
*Just about any other blend of spices and seasonings of your choosing…

7. Enjoy this healthy, fun and inexpensive treat!

Handy in the kitchen and ready to experiment with festive food & drink ideas? Experiment with the different flavors of fall. Take it a step further and try to bake a pumpkin pie from scratch next! You’ll have fun reaping the tasty rewards!

Have a Happy Halloween!

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