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Houston, TX
Just your atypical hispanic male living in the big city

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Roasting Fresh Pumpkins and Pumpkin Seeds

Ever roasted pumpkins? Well, when I was a kid, Grandma would roast pumpkins of different kinds with many variations. Mostly, she would use piloncillo to sweeten a large pumpkin. Most Spanish speaking countries call it panela, but in Mexico it is called piloncillo. Piloncillo is basically an unrefined sugar cane mostly found in a block form.

For the pumpkins I am using, I prefer to use small, sweet pumpkins. These have natural sugar and are rather sweet. So I don't add the piloncillo to these pumpkins. I use these pumpkins for normal baking instead of the canned stuff.

First, start by cutting the top off of the pumpkins. This makes it easier when you are slicing open the pumpkins.

Next, cut open the pumpkins. Scoop out all the seeds and place off to the side. Take out the veins that are attached to the seeds. Make sure you scoop out all the veins and seeds from the pumpkins. Each pumpkin half should be placed onto a foil wrapped cookie sheet. Place the pumpkins into a preheated 400 degree oven.

Allow to roast for about 30 to 45 minutes or until you see the skin starting to shrink away from the meat of the pumpkin. You will notice that these pumpkins have caramelized somewhat. This is great as the natural sugars have just helped in the cooking process. Notice that I have taken the pumpkins onto a wire rack and allow it to fully cool. The skin will pull away from the meat and you can scoop out the pumpkin from the outer skin.


Now, we have the pumpkin seeds. I really do love pumpkin seeds especially with some simple salt and olive oil.

Make sure you fully rinse the seeds in cold water. Place them onto cookie sheets with paper towels lined on the bottom of the cookie sheets. Allow to air dry overnight so that they can evenly dry.

The following day, the pumpkin seeds are dry. Some of the seeds may stick, but you can just flick them off and unstuck them.

In each tray, sprinkle some olive oil and sea salt making sure that the seeds are coated well. In a preheated oven around 375 degrees, add the pumpkin seeds to the oven. Allow to roast for about 30 minutes. Make sure you are checking the seeds as you want to avoid having burnt pumpkin seeds. After for about 15 minutes, toss the seeds and place back into the oven. Once you notice that the seeds are somewhat brown and take it out. Allow to cool. These are rather addictive!!

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