If you have some pumpkins left over from Halloween, do not let it rot away on your porch or window sill, cut off the top and scoop out the seeds and toast them. I have had a teeny pumpkin sitting on my kitchen window sill for two months now. It traveled in my suitcase all the way from my best friend's backyard in Minneapolis, to my apartment in Harlem. I felt foolish even taking it on the plane, and even thought about throwing it away behind her back. But I am glad I thought otherwise, because it landed in perfect condition, and every time I see it I think of her. Although I wanted to carve it, I just did not find the time, so toasting the seeds was as good as I could get for Halloween. My coworker gave me the great suggestion of using lime juice to flavor the seeds before baking, so I thought I would share the recipe with you.
Here are the ingredients for Lime-Chili Pumpkin Seeds, for about 1 cup of seeds:
-Pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried completely
-1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
-1 to 2 teaspoons of salt
-1 teaspoon olive oil
-Juice from one lime
I have found that it is easier to scoop the seeds out with your hands instead of using a spoon. Your delicate little fingers separate the pumpkin strands from the seeds as you pull them out. Rinse them in a colander and make sure you get all the extraneous strands of pumpkin off. Lay out the seeds on a paper towel, and let them dry completely. I usually do this over night. My coworker, suggested this to be a good time to sprinkle with lime juice so that the juice will soak in an dry out on the shells. I had already dried mine out, so I just splashed the juice right before I put them in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Take your dried seeds, and mix with salt, chili powder, olive oil, and lime juice (if you have not added the juice already). Feel free to add more or less chili powder, depending on what you like. I will definitely add more next time.
Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Take out once the seeds are crisp and toasted. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve warm or at room temperature.
If you want to do something with the actual pumpkin, try David Lebovitz's roasted pumpkin recipe. Click here.