Thursday, November 12, 2015

Don't Throw Out that Pumpkin! Make Old Fashioned Fried Pumpkin Seeds!

Some of my neighbors make displays around this time of year with whole bright orange pumpkins....They don't even carve them up, they simply arrange them..... perhaps with some other decorations to make their front porch look "harvesty" and abundant.

Well, as a professional scavenger, I refuse to let these beautiful pumpkins go to waste.
I was also given some great big pumpkins via my local Fruitshare organization that also has the same
"Waste not, want not" mentality.

So, our family set about to fry up some good ole fashioned pumpkin seeds and I'd like to share the simple and low cost process with you. Since we fried them in vegetable shortening and only seasoned them with salt, they are actually a vegan item. Yay :)

So hear goes......
 First you get a fresh whole pumpkin and cut a hole in it big enough to reach your hand in to collect the raw seeds. It's best to use a pumpkin that no one has tampered with holes, bruises or carvings at all.
If you pumpkin is whole and complete, then the seeds inside will be perfectly fresh and ready to fry. Pumpkins stay fresh longest when they remain unopened and uncarved. Storing whole pumpkins is best done in a cool place such as outside or in a cool basement or garage.
Then you place all the collected seeds into a container complete with all the gushy orange odd pieces that come from the inner pumpkin.

Then you wash the seeds in a collander or some kind of sifter until the seeds are clean and free of all debri. If you don't own a real sieve, then you can also use the upper pot of a double boiler and they work well the holes in the upper pot of a double boiler are small enough to wash down and away the extra orangey stuff while not allowing the seeds to go escape down the drain.
Then you melt at least three large heaping tablespoons of vegetable shortening in your favorite frying pan or sauce pan. Add some salt to the seeds as well. Just use your individual taste to make sure you have just the right amount of salt.
Voila, it will probably take you about 10-15 minutes to fry up one pan of pumpkin seeds.
Take care to let them cool down a bit before you nibble.

Tasty and fresh and a great source of fiber as well.