Pumpkin Seed Roasting Preparation Secret
This time of the year we get lots of pumpkin seeds with all the yummy recipes and even the carving of the pumpkins for Halloween. We love roasted and flavored pumpkin seeds and our friend reminded us of a secret way to make sure to preserve their health nutrients, while still making them taste great. It is lightly frying them first!
If you are getting seeds from pumpkins on a frequent basis, you can just dry them on a tea towel and then put them in a sealed container in the refrigerator. We use the tea towel rather than paper towels because the will not stick to it and of course it is much greener too. We usually wash them in a colander to get off the stringy bits but that can happen later too. When you have enough pumpkin seeds you can place them into a bowl of water, possibly with a bit of crystal salt and leave them overnight or at least a few hours. After that you can strain them through the colander and use the tea towel again to dry them.
So here is the secret… before roasting, give the pumpkin seeds a quick, light fry on very low heat to infuse them with flavor and lessen the roasting time!
Now you do not want to fry the pumpkin seeds until they brown because all of the beneficial oils inside of them would nutritionally break down. However, cooking them in the oven on high heat for long periods ruins most of the healthy benefits as well! Our assured us the great taste is still there along with all the healthy stuff too.
Light, Fast Frying of the Pumpkin Seeds
Us a small amount(teaspoon per half cup of seeds) of healthy oil and warm/melt it on low heat in a small fry pan. Use the lowest setting on your burner or hot plate. We do not want to see any smoking of the oil. For super healthy cooking avoid margarine or processed vegetable oil. No reason to add back in some unnatural fats for no reason when you could try a healthier version like organic, grass fed butter. Rice bran oil has a light taste that would go well with crystal salt or some herbs you want to mix in. Another option would be organic coconut oil for a tropical flavor with some chili or curry powder, yum!
Usually spicy and salty combinations work well, such as a light dusting of crystal salt and cracked pepper or a sprinkling of curry powder or fermented soy sauce. Oregano, garlic and chili are fun to try too and for sweeter options try some honey and bit of cinnamon. We tend to go the more savory route, but at a party it is fun to make a variety of combinations. Yummy!
Lightly fry the pumpkin seeds on low heat for only 1 or 2 minutes, stirring them every so often so they get warm and softer, but not browned! Now it is time to add in any of the herbs or spices you want to infuse into the seeds. Continue to mix well and fry lightly while stirring for just one more minute.
Quick Roasting Pumpkin Seeds on a Tray
Preheat you oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (75C) and then spread the fried seeds out on a baking tray with non-stick baking paper or foil. You do not want them lumped together or overlapping, so that they will roast better flat. Put them in the oven and roast them for only 25 minutes! We used to think this was too short a time as well until we started doing it. The quick frying earlier was just the secret we needed.
Now we have reduced the time and greatly increased the nutritional value, we love this method. It is true you might get a chewy seed every now and then, but our friend reminded us that pumpkin seed hulls are good digestive fiber and fine to swallow. Besides the amazing combinations we can get from oils and herbs and spices are incredible.
Proper Storage of Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Putting the seeds in an air tight container works well for the one to three days they usually last around our homestead. Of course then best is to eat them warm right after they come from the oven! Every so often we get overly excited and make up a ton of seeds, especially if a party is coming up soon. If you need to keep them for a while, they stay fine for several weeks in the fridge inside and airtight container. We use smaller, separate containers so we can take them out as we need them and let them come up to room temp before enjoying them all over again.
So remember the secret to roasting pumpkin seeds quickly and healthy is to fast fry them lightly and infuse them with some fun oils and then quick roast them on low heat the rest of the way with some fun spices and flavors added. Try your own combinations and please share. Enjoy!