Pumpkin Seeds are hands down, one of my favorite snacks: crunchy with a little bit of chewiness, salty, or sweet, they’re an easy, low-fat yummy treat. Ever since I’ve moved to Southern Louisiana, pumpkin seeds have just gotten better too–using Tony’s Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning instead of regular salt, my pumpkin seeds have a somewhat “Cajun/Creole” flair to them. They really are the best and incredibly easy to make.
Yet, my love for pumpkin seeds has not always been so. As a little kid, I used to look around my classroom at snack time and wonder, “Why do I always get stuck with the crappy snacks? Everyone has chips, string cheese, mini-pizza kits, cookies, granola bars, and treats. And I? I have pumpkin seeds!” I would sigh half angrily with disappointment. These sighs would always lead to more wondering, “Why do I have to have the hippy-food while everyone else gets to eat normal food?!” And it was true: I did, in fact, eat “hippy-food” as a kid. I was probably the only kid who toted around ziplock bags filled with pumpkin seeds and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on pumpernickel bread. Thanks mom.
My sense of hippy-food increased during the month of October when I tried (and failed) to trade pumpkin seeds during snack time with my classmates. No matter how hard I tried, I could never leverage any cookies, graham crackers, or even fruit for my pumpkin seeds. Nobody wanted them! If I had been in kiddy prison, my pumpkin seeds would have been candy cigarettes to everyone else’s “real” cigarettes. They simply had no market value.
The moral of my story? Pumpkin Seeds are great, especially when prepared with the right spices–olive oil, garlic, Tony’s, and italian seasoning. So, for the adults who read my blog, feel free to indulge in this perfect Fall-time snack, and enjoy a little bit of Cajun Cooking mixed into a typically New England fall treat. But for your kids? They might just prefer granola bars.
Cajun Flavored Pumpkin Seeds
The below recipe is extraordinarily versatile and can be made to taste. As a child, my mom would prepare pumpkin seeds in the oven with butter, garlic, and salt. For this recipe, I call for olive oil, garlic, and Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning.
* 1 batch of fresh pumpkin seeds, washed, and fibrous threads removed
* 1-2 tablespoons Tony’s Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning
* 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1-2 tablespoons italian seasoning
* 2-3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1.) Preheat oven to 350F. Wash pumpkin seeds and remove any fibrous pumpkin attached.
2.) Add pumpkin seeds to a small baking pan (i.e., a pie pan) and add olive oil, Tony’s, and garlic. Stir with your hands to combine and toss until seeds are fully coated with seasonings.
3.) Bake in oven for 10 minutes and using a spatula, mix up and toss. Bake for 5 more minutes and remove from oven.
4.) Allow seeds to cool and enjoy! Makes multiple small snack-size servings.Google+
Written by: Helana Brigman