I don't know which is more fun, carving the Jack-o-lantern or roasting the seeds. One 4-pound pumpkin will yield about 2 cups seeds. Save the seeds whenever you carve a pumpkin, plant some of them,then roast the rest . Next year, you'll have your own pumpkin patch--and lots of roasted pumpkin seeds! Kids can stir and toss the seeds with salt or spices and help spread them on the baking sheet.
2 cups pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
Rinse the seeds well in cold water, being sure you have rinsed away any fibrous strings, and pat thoroughly dry. Transfer to a large bowl and add the vegetable oil and salt, stirring well to coat the seeds with the oil. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until crisp and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if desired.
Herbed Seeds: Use olive oil in place of the vegetable oil and add 1 tablespoon each dried rosemary and dried basil along with the salt.
Spicy Seeds: Add 2 teaspoons chili powder along with the salt.
Indian Seeds: Add 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper along with the salt.
Pumpkin Pie Seeds: Substitute 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter for the vegetable oil and add 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, and a pinch each of ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt.
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