During our Nutrition unit I demonstrate how to roast a fresh pumpkin. We enjoy the roasted seeds as a healthy plant based protein snack during our video on vegetarianism and save the flesh for our healthy baking substitutions lab.
It’s easy to do!
Select a small pumpkin from the grocery section… Not a decorative pumpkin! Last year the pumpkins were nearly impossible to cut. We were later informed that the grocery store sprayed pumpkins with a laquer. Great for decorating- not for eating! Our pumpkins this year came from a local farm. You can still roast the seeds out of big pumpkins used for carving but the flesh will be bitter.
Preheat your oven to 400 F.
Remove the stem. Do this by rolling the pumpkin onto the stem and it will easily snap off.
Sharpen your knife, sharpen it again, and cut the pumpkin cleanly in half.
Use a spoon to scoop out the “guts” of the pumpkin into a small bowl.
Run some cold water into the small bowl which makes it easier to separate the seeds from the “gunk.” Put the seeds in a colander and the gunk in the compost.
Spin a paper towel around your colander to remove as much water as possible.
Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking oil spray. Spread the seeds out on the sheet in a thin layer and spray again. Sprinkle with desired seasonings. We liked Cajun seasoning and have enjoyed brown sugar and cinnamon in the past.
Bake the seeds on the top rack in your oven for 15-20 minutes or until crispy. Allow to cool, then enjoy!
Meanwhile, spray the inside of the hollowed-out pumpkins with a cooking oil spray. Place face down on another baking sheet and cook on the bottom rack of your oven for about 40 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
After the pumpkin has cooled a bit, remove the outer skin of the pumpkin. Use a stick blender to puree, or use a regular blender in batches. The pureed pumpkin can be used in place of canned pumpkin in any recipe. We use ours in our healthy baking substitutions lab, which I will post about later this week.
I hope you enjoy this recipe with your students!