When you process pumpkins from your garden, you will want to make pumpkin seeds. It is easy to make delicious, salted pumpkin seeds. If you cannot have salt, leave it out. Pumpkin seeds make a great snack and they are healthy for you, provided you do not over salt them or eat too many!
Cut open your pumpkin by slicing off the top. With a large, sturdy spoon, scrape out all of the pulp and seeds and place them in a bowl. This is a bit difficult to do and takes a while. There are long strands of thread-like pulp pieces with the seeds that stick to the pumpkin flesh. They must be scraped out because they do not taste good. You can either throw these threads in the trash or put them in your compost pile.
Once you have the pumpkin scraped out, separate the seeds from the orange stuff and then place them in a pasta colander and run under water to remove any excess pulp.
The amount of seeds you get depends on the variety of pumpkins you are using and how many pumpkins you are cleaning. I processed two New England pie pumpkins on the night before Thanksgiving and I got about two cups of seeds.
Spray a large baking sheet (with sides) with non-stick cooking spray. Some of my cookie sheets do not have sides and if I use them, some of the seeds fall off into the oven so I use the cookie sheets with small sides, about 1/2 inch high. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the clean seeds in a large bowl with some extra virgin olive oil, some salt. Stir well, coating all of the pumpkin seeds with the salted olive oil. If you love pepper, you can add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper to the olive oil, along with the salt.
Place the seeds on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the seeds turn golden brown. Don't leave them in too long because they do not taste good if they are burned. Cool and enjoy. If there are any left over, store them in an airtight container.
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