I am pretty much an apple picking, cider and donuts kind of girl when it comes to October, and as far as  pumpkins I’d be perfectly happy if pumpkin spice anything didn’t exist. With that being said, and weirdly so, I am obsessed with pumpkin seeds.

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When my kids were little I made sure they each had their own pumpkin the carve. Partly because who wants to deal with all the fighting over who gets to cut out the eyes, but mostly for the fact it meant more pumpkin seeds for me to make. Now that the kids are grown I’m still carving a pumpkin every year by myself just for the seeds. Sometimes two.

I think making the perfect pumpkin seeds is somewhat of an art form. Seriously, you need to do it right from the very beginning.

First off, the picking your pumpkin. I've found that the bigger the pumpkin, the tougher the seeds.  Because of that I usually search for a medium-sized pumpkin. Locally grown just seem to taste better. Michigan is lucky enough to be filled with little local pumpkin patches in just about every town.

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How you carve the pumpkin results and how many seeds you’re actually going to get. A lot of people get tired of dealing with the slime and the guts and throw out some of those tasty little treats. Sure you can buy little kits with pumpkin carving tools, but I actually find an ice cream scoop works great. You’re gonna have to get down and dirty for this part making sure to get every seed. 

To get them good and clean, fill a bowl with water and swirl around the seeds, using your fingers to remove any stuck-on pieces of pulp. I suggest letting the seeds dry for at least an hour. While you’re waiting you can carve your pumpkin, because actually that’s what you’re supposed to be doing with the pumpkin unless you’re like me and you’re just in it for the seeds. 

Here’s the most important part… What temperature to cook them at. I preheat the oven to 325°. I use a rimmed baking sheet and usually bake them 20 to 25 minutes shaking them and checking on them every 10 minutes. Now, you can keep it simple and just toss them with a little olive oil and kosher salt, but why not turn them into a little culinary masterpiece. There’s so many different ways to change them up in flavoring and spices, so go for something different this year.

Check out some of my favorite pumpkin seed recipes below and enjoy! ( Cooking time and temp may vary with recipes)


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