If you’re hosting a holiday dinner at your place, pumpkin is probably on your shopping list. After all, this wonderful winter fruit makes a great base for scrumptious pies and puddings. When you scoop out the pulp, don’t forget to save the seeds.
Also known as pepita, these seeds are incredibly healthy, and are packed with vitamins, mineral, omega-3 fats and proteins. Light and crisp, they also taste yum. They’re easily available at organic food stores, but you could get your own by separating them from the pulp, with a little soaking in water. Once the pepitas are in place, turn them into a sweet or savory snack. Follow these quick, easy methods.
1. Classic Roasted Seeds
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Clean 2 cups of seeds and drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Toast them on a baking sheet until they’re crisp and brown. Enjoy them as they are, or use as a garnish over foods like rice pudding, pot pies, salads and dips for some crunch and flavor.
2. The Spicy Twist
Roast the seeds as directed in step 1, but before you put them in the oven, add mixed spices for a twist of flavor. You could add any amount you wish, and play around with flavors like those of smoked paprika, oregano, red-pepper flakes and Indian curry powder.
3. Honey Roasted Seeds
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large skillet, warm olive oil on medium heat and toss in 2 cups of pumpkin seeds. Allow them to roast for 3 minutes, until they turn lightly golden. Add 2 tablespoons of honey and stir the mixture with a rubber spatula. Once blended, transfer the ingredients to the preheated oven and roast for 20 to 30 minutes. Once roasted, transfer the mix to a non-stick baking sheet to cool completely. Sprinkle some salt, just to bring all the flavors together, and store it in a jar for a quick, healthy snack.
With so many fun ways to use pepita, you sure have a new pantry staple at hand.