Have you made a trip to your local pumpkin patch, yet? It is a load of fun! The little ones get to pick out their own pumpkins in the field. Some places even offer bouncy house, crafts and food for sale. Some farms offer wagon rides and some have petting zoos. Check out your local parenting magazines and newspaper ads for the latest and greatest local offerings.
If you are like me, your front porch is covered in bright orange pumpkins. They look beautiful in the fall months and are an inexpensive way to bring a festive air to the harvest season. If carved, they rot fairly quickly. However, left in their natural state, they make a simple, yet beautiful statement that will last through November.
Pumpkins are also great to cook into pies, soups and vegetable dishes. The seeds are wonderful and easy to roast. They make a great snack to put into your lunch bag. Fresh pumpkin seeds, toasted from you own pumpkins are healthy and high in vitamin A. They taste amazing and the outer shells are soft enough to eat. Just pop them in your mouth. Yum! Follow these simple steps to make pumpkin seeds that your whole family will enjoy.
- Pick a pumpkin.
- Wash the outside with dish soap and water.
- Cut off the top cap and clean out the insides.
- Put all the seeds and “goop” into a large bowl.
- When emptied, set the pumpkin aside for soup or pie.
- Fill the bowl with cold water.
- Swirl the water around with your hand and try to separate the seeds.
- Pick out the seeds and set on a clean cotton dish towel, until all the seeds are on the towel.
- Spray Pam cooking spray on a cookie sheet.
- Pour the wet seeds onto the tray from the towel.
- Spray all the seeds with Pam spray.
- Sprinkle lightly with Lawry’s Seasoning salt.
- Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, until brown and crispy.
- Never leave the seeds unattended as they burn easily.
- Pour into a bowl right from the oven. The hot tray may burn the seeds.
Tip: Once the pumpkin is opened, cook the seeds right away. If you wait a day or more, the seeds will dry out and act like popcorn in your oven. This happened to me. I heard popping sounds and looked in my oven to find seeds all over.