I’m nearly certain the thing I like most about Halloween these days is the seeds. Official sign I’m getting old, I know.
I’ve been roasting seeds the same way for years…. until recently. It all changed when I found this new method.
I used to just rinse them, then toss them in oil and seasonings, and roast. Some were awesome, some were chewy, some were burnt. I never quite knew why, but I’d just keep munching.
Then, I decided I owed it to myself for find a better way to roast seeds. I will never go back. Ever.
The key is letting them dry roast. I know it sounds crazy, but the seeds need to dry out to get light and crispy. And sadly, when tossed right in oil and seasonings, not only do they stay wet, consequently making them chewy, but the seasonings also cook so long they often burn, making bitter little charred dudes. So, it turns out I’d been doing it wrong all those years.
Here’s the trick. After you clean the seeds, spread them out on a baking sheet and roast them as is- no oil, no salt, no nothing! Nada. The key is bare. And low and slow. You want those little guys to dry up without getting brown. After 30 minutes at just 300 degrees, your seeds will be perfectly crisp, dry, and ready to be seasoned.
From there, you toss in oil, seasonings, and roast a tad longer. It really does work. Like a charm. 🙂
As my husband says, it’s just as much about the texture as it is the flavor when it comes to pumpkin seeds. Smartest words ever.
If you’re anything like me, you like flavors. Salty, sweet, spicy. All of them. So, I made four. We carved pumpkins earlier tonight, and I went right to seed town. I make flavored seeds a lot, but I had yet to post them here for you guys. That needed to change.
Clockwise from the top, there’s a ranch seasoning, Spanish, sweet & spicy BBQ, and Italian. These are just my random names… they seemed appropriate given the ingredients. Call them what you want. 🙂
Since seasonings and herbs can vary depending on brand, freshness, etc, flavors may vary slightly… chipotle tends to be pretty spicy, so it will add a kick. If you don’t want that, lessen the chipotle by half. I personally love a little kick… especially when mixed with sweet, so my fave, if I have to pick, is the sweet & spicy BBQ. With a cinnamony edge… I love it!!
raw pumpkin seeds
desired seasoning blend
seasoning blend per 1/2 cup seeds
Sweet & Spicy BBQ:
1 tsp sugar (raw, coconut, or whatever you like)
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp chipotle powder (if you prefer no spice, use smoked paprika instead)
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp chipotle powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp Parmesan, powdered (*see note below)
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp granulated garlic
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp salt
*for a non-dairy option, omit cheese, then sprinkle nutritional yeast on after roasting
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Clean pumpkin seeds, removing all flesh and goop
Spread the seeds out evenly along a large baking sheet
I cover mine with parchment paper first to help keep cleaning to a minimum 😉
Roast the seeds on the middle rack for 30 minutes…
No oil, no salt. Just seeds.
This helps to dry them and get a nice crisp light texture…
when tossed with oil and seasonings right away,
the seeds can become chewy since they never fully dry out
When roasted first dry, the perfect texture is achieved first, then flavors are added second
Toss roasted pumpkin seeds in olive oil
Add seasoning blend, then toss to coat seeds evenly
(I measure approx 1/2 cup seeds per seasoning blend.. adjust amounts as needed)
If making more than one flavor, you can do this in sections on the same baking sheet 🙂
Spanish and Sweet & Spicy BBQ above, ranch and Italian below…
Roast seeds for another 15 minutes
Serve up, gobble, & enjoy!