Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How to Tuesday - Pumpkin Seeds

In the Eastern US, Autumn means pumpkins...Pumpkin pie, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Carving, Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin everything!



Since we got married, we've made our own tradition of carving theme pumpkins for our steps for Halloween.
Last year was Kishore's introduction to "The Nightmare Before Christmas" with carvings and this year we got into "The Walking Dead" just in time for Halloween!


As much fun as carving is I always try my best to make use of as much of the pumpkin as possible. I know a lot of people have this idea that you can't eat carving pumpkins, well that's simply not true. Before carving,  I usually save the seeds for roasting and scrape the inside throughly and cook that down. While it's true the larger the pumpkin the more water, this just means you have to cook it down longer and drain off the water before using it in pie, bread, or pancakes.

I'll just focus on the seeds for this post...


The Do's and Don'ts of Pumpkin Seeds


Do:
For Raw Eating Seeds

  • Wash them throughly in a colander in cool water.
  • Dry them off with a clean towel, spread them out on a sheet and use a dehydrator to dry them at 95-100F/  for 8-10 hours.

For Roasting Seeds
  • If you don't have a dehydrator, put your oven on the lowest setting with the door open a crack for about 30 minutes and make sure to turn them every 10 minutes. 
  • You have to keep your eye on them because they will burn very quickly. 

*Now that your seeds are dried, they can be eaten raw, roasted, flavored or used in brittle.*


Do Not:

  • Soak them in water, unless you are planning to sprout them, or eat them very quickly. 
    • If you do plan on soaking them I wouldn't leave them for more than 6 hours if you leave them in water for excess periods of time they will rot.

I know there is some debate on the web about soaking seeds and nuts before consuming them.
I'll agree this may make it easier on some people's digestive systems. Regarding enzymes, frankly if you are going to dry or cook them afterwards most of those "beneficial enzymes" will be denatured and rendered useless anyway due to the heat.

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