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Keep Those Pumpkin Seeds: Recipe for Your Jack-O-Lantern Seeds

Before you throw away those pumpkin seeds you carved out of your Jack-O-Lantern this year, think twice!! There is good dietary benefit in those seeds, not to mention a yummy snack even the kids will love. Here’s how to prepare and cook your pumpkin seeds.

Prepping the Seeds

First, after you have scooped your pumpkin, put the seeds in a glass bowl. Next, separate the seeds from all the stringing pumpkin meat. You’ll need to do this fairly quickly because once you’ve let them sit and they’ve gotten too dry, they will be harder to clean.

Using a cold-water rinse, finish taking off what is left of the stringy meat (there will be some little bits left more than likely) off the seeds. Place a strainer in the sink so you don’t lose all that pumpkin goop in your sink drain.

Once your pumpkin seeds are completely clean, put them on a waxed paper cookie sheet to dry. You’ll leave them to dry overnight. Sorry, you can’t eat them until tomorrow.

Optional: If you like your seeds salty, you may want to let them sit in a bowl of salt water overnight. Be careful though and don’t over salt the water. Remove from bowl of water and dry as stated above.

Now that your pumpkin seeds are prepared, let’s get to the actual cooking of them. Here are both a microwave and oven baked recipe for you to choose from. Note: Preparation is the same for both of the following recipes.

Microwave Pumpkin Seed Recipe

Place salted butter in a microwavable rectangular baking dish and heat for about 30 seconds. Place seeds into pan and toss through the melted butter. Spread the seeds out evenly into one layer on the bottom of the dish. Microwave on high for about 8 minutes or until seeds are a light golden color. Make sure you stir the seeds every couple of minutes while in the microwave to prevent burning.

Oven Baked Pumpkin Seed Recipe

Spray your seeds with butter spray. Cook for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Watch for them to be lightly brown. When they are done, take them out and season with your favorite seasonings. Some popular seasonings include salt and garlic. Let them completely cool before enjoying.

Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are not the only seeds that can be eaten this way. The seeds from butternut and acorn squash can also be cooked just like pumpkin seeds. Give them a try too.

Leftover Storage

You can store any leftovers of your pumpkin seeds in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 3 months. If you choose to refrigerate them, they will last for about a year in an air tight container.

Baked pumpkin seeds provide a great source of dietary fiber along with a nutty flavor. So, instead of popping that bag of popcorn tonight, grab your favorite Halloween movie, sit back with your toasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy.

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Healthy Treats For Halloween

When the time of year rolls around where ghouls and goblins will be coming out to celebrate, you are guaranteed to be surrounded by a whole bunch of treats that are not as healthy as your diet may require. If you have young children, you may let them have some sweets during this holiday, but you can still limit the amount of sugar that they take in by offering up a variety of healthier Halloween treats. As a matter of fact, with just a little bit of imagination, you should be able to surround your entire family with healthy treat options all October long!

If you have the time and you would like to create some of your own healthy Halloween treats, then you might want to look in some of your favorite magazines or even online for great recipes. There are a number of cookies that you can bake up or even create your own candied fruits in shapes that will help you celebrate the festive Halloween season. Of course, popcorn is always one of those holiday staples that you can use to snack on or even shape into popcorn balls to give out as treats or pack up for your kids as a healthy snack option.

Do you plan on throwing a memorable Halloween party for your children or even some of your adult friends? If so, then you can put your imagination to work while creating healthier treat options that everyone will enjoy. Instead of serving sodas, think about flavorful punch created with juices! You can even freeze plastic bugs and creepy crawlies into ice cubes for a nice touch that everyone will be talking about.

When it comes to Halloween inspired foods and treats, you may want to think of making a pasta dish with rigatoni and a tomato based sauce. As you serve it up for a dinner treat near Halloween or even at a theme party out of a crock pot, make sure that you tell everyone to take a heaping helping of your creation called “Riga-Boney”! You can even follow up with a dessert of a jell-o mold with mixed in fruit that you chilled inside of a mold that is shaped like a giant brain for an extra touch!

Halloween is a fun holiday that is filled with plenty of options for treats and celebration. All you have to do is use your imagination and put your creative spin on the treats that you provide to your family. With a creative twist, you can come up with plenty of healthier Halloween treats that everyone will love.

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