While it still feels like summer here in California, pumpkins are showing up at our markets and the feeling of Autumn is in the air.
How do you cook pumpkin seeds
My older daughter asked about getting a pumpkin, so we picked up a small pie pumpkin the other day and then promptly turned it into an afternoon of hacking the pumpkin, digging out the seeds, and then roasting them up. We also baked the pumpkin and made pie filling that’s waiting to be baked into something amazing.
I have wonderful memories of opening and carving pumpkins with my dad, and my hope is that my children will come to embrace this season with love as a result of our cooking adventures.
How to Bake Pumpkin Seeds
The set-up was simple:
- One cutting board
- One pumpkin
- Heavy kitchen knife (pumpkins are crazy tough to cut)
- Empty pan or bowl
My kids have a set of knives from Curious Chef that are fabulous for cutting up mushrooms, scrambled eggs, marshmallows, cheddar cheese, and all things not-too-hard. I began by cutting the top off the pumpkin, and then my 4-year old asked if she could help. Ha!
Although it was clear that her beloved knife was no match for the pumpkin, in the spirit of experimentation she gave it a go. This is how kids learn! Once we got past that, we got back to digging seeds out of the pumpkin. We got most of them out before I cut the pumpkin in half, which helped us clean it out really well.
My kids aren’t really into goopy things at the moment, but children who are would probably love the sensory experience of mucking around with all the smooshy pumpkin seeds and such.
We put all the seeds into a pot of water, added a few pinches of salt, and boiled it for 20 minutes.This helps clean the seeds off while infusing them with a little flavor.
Salting things is one of 4-year old N’s favorite kitchen duties, and while I initially worried that she’d oversalt our food, she’s become very judicious after lots of practice. Our favorite salt is Maldon Sea Salt, and we keep it in a bamboo salt box like this.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
After 20 minutes, we spread the seeds out on a baking tray and set them aside to dry overnight.
The next day, we mixed them with 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 2 kid-size pinces of salt, and a few shakes of garlic powder. This all goes into a 300 degree oven for 45 minutes. About 20 minutes into the baking, I turned the seeds to help them cook evenly.
The kitchen smelled like heaven.
My kids were eager to try their creation, but sadly, they weren’t fans. I think the crunchiness wasn’t that appealing, and maybe with a different flavor like cinnamon-sugar would have been more their speed. Good thing we have a few more months to tinker with our recipe!