For our weekend activity Mr. MVP and I decided we would carve the pumpkins we acquired at Gull Meadow Farms. Of course, I had the bright idea that just carving pumpkins wasn’t enough, but I had to roast pumpkin seeds too. I completely mastered the roasting and Mr. MVP, the carving, so I suppose between the two of us we are a complete set of pumpkin ninjas. I’ll let you in on my part of the pumpkin process.
First, chocolate. This is the vegan chocolate we snacked on while we carved our pumpkins and sorted pumpkin seeds. This is is the most delicious vegan chocolate ever. Back to the pumpkins.
First, of course, you are going to need a pumpkin. As I said before, we picked our pumpkins from a patch and they are not pie pumpkins. These pumpkins are enormous. Mr. MVP decided they needed a bath. I’m not joking. He gave our pumpkins a bath.
Then his head turned into a pumpkin. Oh my goodness. Panic!
Sorry. All human heads have been returned. Now, what you are going to need to do is cut the tops off your pumpkins. You are going to do some pumpkin surgery. Mr. MVP did all the cutting because he does not trust me with a sharp knife and a slippery squash. Take your sharp knife and cut in at an angle. If you cut straight down, when you remove the top it will simply fall in and carving a jack-o-lantern will be impossible. The shape really does not matter.
Once your top has been cut all the way around gently lift it up and then remove all the seeds from the pulp. This is slimy, yucky, and sticky, but trust me it’s well worth the effort.
Excellent work Mr. MVP!
Now you’re ready to get down to business. The pumpkin is absolutely full of seeds, but it’s also full of, well, pumpkin. All of the pumpkin pulp has to be removed. Mr. MVP says that the very easiest way to remove all of this is to take a spoon and scrape the inside of the pumpkin to loosen the pulp and it will fall away.
Just make sure it all falls away into a bowl.
There really is no super fancy trick to sorting through pumpkin, so I’ll just tell you it’s squishy, cold and wet, but it’s really truly worth it. Just keep separating the pumpkin from the seeds until you’ve sorted through all your pumpkins. We had three gigantic pumpkins which yielded a small bowl of seeds.
The seeds will be covered in pumpkin and the best way to rinse them is to toss them in a colander.
I tossed mine in a metal colander.
Please don’t do this in a metal strainer. Not only does the pumpkin get stuck in the teeny tiny holes, but it’s a pain to clean. I’m not even sure why I own this strainer. Rinse your pumpkin seeds the best you can in a plastic colander. There will be some pumpkin stuck on your seeds, but it’s okay.
My pumpkin was stuck firmly at the bottom of the strainer.
Now you are going to need a pot big enough to hold the seeds, water and salt. This is the easy part. Put your pumpkin seeds in your pot, fill the pot halfway with water and salt the seeds. Remember you are salting the seeds, not the water. I probably put two teaspoons of salt in the water.
Now take your pot and bring the water to a boil. Let your pumpkin seeds simmer on medium, low heat for ten full minutes. This is the not very exciting part. I cleaned my colander while I was waiting. You can preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
After the pumpkin seeds have been in the boiling, salty water for ten full minutes put them back in the strainer.
Then spread them out on paper towel. Don’t forget that just boiled pumpkin seeds are really unbelievably hot.
Take another paper towel or clean towel and pat the pumpkin seeds dry. The seeds stick and this part is a little messy.
I flipped the paper towel over and didn’t realize the pumpkin seeds stuck and ended up with pumpkin seeds all over the floor, the counter top and in the sink. This was not fun. The seeds don’t need to be perfectly dry here, but every little bit helps. Don’t worry about the stickiness.
Take a sheet pan and spread extra virgin olive oil on the bottom. I covered my pan with foil for easy clean-up, but that is completely up to you.
Spread the seeds on the pan in a single layer and add about one tablespoon more oil. With your fingers mix everything up so all of the pumpkin seeds are completely covered in oil. Now generously sprinkle all of the seeds with salt. Put your pan in the oven for 6 minutes. When your timer rings take your pan out and try a seed to make sure it’s not crunchy. It should still be soft. Shake your pan and move all the seeds around and put your pan back in the oven for 6 to 8 more minutes. When your pumpkin seeds are close to finished you will start to smell them. You might even hear them pop and crack. Take your finished seeds out and let them cool for just five minutes.
Here are our pumpkin seeds. I made one more batch after this one. Then I went and watched Mr. MVP carve our pumpkins. You will have to come back if you want to read about that. For now, I’m going to watch scary movies and eat roasted pumpkin seeds.