Carving out the insides of a pumpkin with an audience of little onlookers is fun. Inviting the kids to explore its’ texture is funny. Some are game and some are not! A few reluctant kids change their minds when they see others touching the orange, wet, and stringy pulp and seeds. One girl tasted the pulp and seeds. I know who’ll be a fan of pumpkin lattes!
At the end of the school day, I collected the seeds and, hon, you know what came next. I made Roasted Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Seeds (recipe below) and brought them in for the kids to try. Yum!
We also painted mini-pumpkins, crinkled leaves to decorate paper trees, and explored a texture tray filled with smooth acorns, bumpy pinecones, and itty-bitty pumpkins snipped off of Pumpkin Tree branches. We rolled pinecones in paint and then rolled the paint-covered pinecones on blank paper to create original prints.
Roasted Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Seeds
Tips Before Roasting Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds must dry completely before roasting. Remove the seeds from pumpkins and rinse thoroughly, discarding any stringy orange pieces. Drain seeds by lining a large baking pan with paper towels, spreading seeds evenly in a layer, and letting sit for 24 hours. At the 12 hour mark, change damp paper towels for dry ones, stir to air out pumpkin seeds.
- 3 cups pumpkin seeds dried for at least 24 hours
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil or butter (or vegan butter)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar (or coconut sugar to make paleo)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Very lightly grease a large baking pan, set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- Melt coconut oil or butter in a large microwave safe bowl or on the stovetop in a 4-quart pot.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Mix in pumpkin seeds until they are all evenly coated.
- Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin seeds and mix until all they are evenly coated.
- Spread pumpkin seeds on your prepared baking pan in single layer.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. They are done when they start to brown.
- To test for doneness: remove a few seeds from the pan and let sit on the counter to cool. If they harden up the seeds are done. If they remain soft, return to the oven, checking them after 5 minutes. Continue baking in 5 minute intervals until done.
- Once seeds are done, transfer them from the warm pan to another pan lined with parchment paper to let cool.
Yield: 3 cups
Store pumpkin seeds in an airtight container for up to 1 week.