The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star. -- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin --

Monday, January 28, 2013

STOP! Don't dump that pumpkin! (Caramelized Spicy Pumpkin Seeds)

Happy Monday everyone!!  I’m back in Zig Zag after a wonderful weekend spent with some of my nieces & nephews - as well as my great-nieces & nephews.  I am so blessed to have such a large and loving family!

While we were staying at my nieces home, I found a large pumpkin on her widow sill, and asked about it.  My niece said that it had been sitting there since Halloween and just needed to be dumped.  Silly girl!  I told her that pumpkins will keep for quite a while, as long as they haven’t been cut open, and that hers still appeared to be in pretty good shape.  I convinced her to let me roast it to make some pumpkin puree, and of course we couldn’t waste the seeds either.

I thought it would be a good time to try a new recipe, so I googled pumpkin seeds from my phone, and found this recipe at .  I made a few adjustments (as always), and got busy.  That evening we had some yummy spiced pumpkin seeds to snack on during our game night, and I had a good batch of pumpkin puree to take home and put in my freezer for future baking.

The new recipe was a big success, so I definitely wanted to share it.  Give it a try next time you have some pumpkin seeds to work with.

Caramelized Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Original recipe makes 2 cups or 8 (1/4 cup) servings
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cumin (a/k/a comino)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds, washed and dried
cooking spray
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 300°F.

In a large bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons of sugar, the cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne pepper, and set aside.

Spread the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and spray them with cooking spray.  (If you have any parchment paper, you may want to line your baking sheet with that before you start.  It makes it really easy to pour the pumpkin seeds into the skillet, and clean-up is MUCH easier too!)  Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds with salt to taste, then pop them into the oven and bake until lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes (mine took a little longer…just keep an eye on them and use your best judgment).

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and stir in 2 Tablespoons of sugar.  Stir constantly until the sugar starts to melt and become a beautiful golden liquid.  Add the toasted pumpkin seeds along with about half of the sugar/spice mixture.  (The original recipe added all the sugar spice mixture at the end, but I prefer cooking them a bit to bring out a nice roasted spice flavor.)  Cook and stir the seeds until all the sugar is melted, and all the seeds have a nice coating.

This should only take 2 to 3 minutes. (This will burn easily if you’re not careful, so don’t walk away!)

Stir the caramelized seeds into the bowl of sugar-spice mixture and toss to coat.  Pour everything back onto the baking sheet and spread into a single layer.  Let cool, then break into pieces and ENJOY!!

(NOTE:  If this spice combination doesn’t work for you, you can always try my old standby recipe or simply roast them as above - with or without the salt - and don’t add the sugar/spices at all.  They’re wonderful plain too!) 

Have a great week my friends, and if you haven’t done it lately…spend some quality time with your family soon…you’ll be glad you did!

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