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If fresh pumpkin (or any winter squash for
that matter) is on your Thanksgiving menu, don’t throw away one of the best
parts: the seeds.
After you open the squash, you’ll see pulp with
the seeds in the center. Scoop it out, place it in a bowl and separate the
seeds. This is a great time to enlist the help of one of the younger kids by
telling them they get to play with “slime” (because, let’s face it, that
stringy pulp is pretty slimy).
Make sure all the pulp is off the seeds. Rinse
them in a colander and lay them out flat on a towel to dry completely. Once
they are dry, put them in a re-sealable plastic bag until you’re ready to use
them (they’ll keep for about a week).
There are so many ways to use these little gems. You
can roast them with a little olive oil and chili powder, add them to granola
bars or chop them up and sprinkle them into a muffin mix.
My fave way to prepare them is to “candy” them in
the oven with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. After they are
completely cool, store them in a re-sealable plastic bag. These also make sweet
little hostess gifts!
RECIPE: Candied Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
Makes about 3 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Photograph by Christina Chavez
2 cups sugar, divided
1½ cups water
½ pound cleaned and
dried pumpkin/squash seeds
1 tablespoon ground
1 teaspoon each: ground
nutmeg, ground ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place oven rack in center of
oven. Heat to 275°F.
Combine 1 cup
sugar, water and seeds in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10
minutes. Drain the seeds.
remaining sugar and spices together in a medium bowl. Add the seeds and toss
gently to coat completely.
seeds on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 60 minutes, stirring
every 10 minutes. Cool completely before serving or storing in an airtight