Making toasted pumpkin seeds is a great way to teach students about nutrition (they’re high in protein), cooking safety, and recycling (eating the pulp from the pumpkin instead of throwing it away).
First, if you are scooping seeds out of a fresh pumpkin, soak the seeds to remove the pumpkin meat, and let them completely dry (overnight). By the way, pumpkin flesh makes great compost material if you don’t use it in pumpkin pie or bread recipies. You can also feed cooked pumpkin flesh to dogs and cats in small quantities (sans all seasonings except a little sugar) to help them with their digestion.
Second, toss the seeds lightly in olive oil in a bowl, then add the spice/herb mix of your choice from below, and let them sit for at least 30 minutes.
Third, Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Fourth, toss the seeds onto a baking pan and put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes. After they’ve been in for 10 minutes, stir them up and toss them around in the pan. Then continue to check the seeds as they cook and you wait for them to reach the crispy texture that you like.
Here are six seed seasoning recipes to choose from:
Spicy: Equal parts garlic powder and cayenne powder, pinch or two of salt to cover all.
Cinnamon: 2 parts brown sugar to 1 part cinnamon powder, plus pinch or two of salt to cover all.
Dill Pickle: White vinegar and dill weed in equal parts, and garlic powder in half that, salt and pepper to cover all.
Pizza: Pizza seasoning—OR 1 Tablespoon of parmesan to every ½ teaspoon of basil, oregano, salt, and garlic powder.
Cajun: Equal parts paprika and cajun seasoning, dash Worcestershire over all, pinch of salt.
Ranch: Equal parts salt, onion powder, parsley, garlic powder, dill, dry mustard, celery seed, paprika and pepper—or easy route, ranch mix and pinches of salt.