The reward of gardening is enjoying the fruits and vegetables of your labor. You may be overlooking a delicious and nutritious crop that right under your hoe - roast pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkins have been a popular part of vegetable gardens for centuries. The word comes from the Greek word "pompon," which means large melon. Native Americans ate roasted pumpkin and wove dried strips into mats. Today, we include pumpkins in our vegetable gardening mainly for their decorating and pie value. We often throw the seeds away.
Next time you carve a jack-'o-lantern or cook a pumpkin for pie filling, save those seeds. They make nutty-flavored snacks that are a good source of protein, fiber, iron and phosphorous.
Below is an easy, fun recipe for roasting pumpkin seeds. The whole family will enjoy making and eating this new treat from the garden. Some people like to wash the seeds before roasting. Others leave any pumpkin particles for added flavor and nutrition.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
2 Cups Pumpkin Seeds
1 Quart Water
2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon Melted Butter or Vegetable Oil
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees
2. Bring water and salt to a boil. Add the seeds and boil for 8 to 10 minutes
3. Drain the seeds in a colander and spread them on a paper towel to dry.
4. Melt the butter. Put the dry seeds and butter in a large bowl and toss until the seeds are evenly coated.
5. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until they reach a light, golden brown color. Stir seeds every 10 minutes during cooking.
7. Cool the seeds completely before eating.
You can remove the hulls from the seeds after roasting or eat the seeds hull and all. Keep roasted seeds in airtight containers.
Gardening Tip: Set a few seeds aside before roasting. These free seeds will start next year?s pumpkin patch.
About the author:
John Lenaghan writes about vegetable gardening for www.vegetable-gardening-4u.comwhere he provides valuable tips and advice about seed companies, garden accessories, container gardening and other vegetable gardening topics.
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