Sweet Pumpkin Seeds Recipe – Spicy Maple
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Got plans this weekend to get that pumpkin carved for Halloween? Or if you have, are you looking for a good way to turn those seeds into an awesome snack the whole family can enjoy?
We are down to the wire. Halloween less than a week away! If you haven’t carved that jack-o-lantern yet, most likely that is the plan for the weekend. And if you’ve already done your due holiday diligence and got that jack-o-lantern glowing happily outside, I hope you saved those seeds! Either way, I’ve got a sweet pumpkin seeds recipe that’s so good it’s scary!
This recipe is a wonderful combination of sweet and spicy. I was taking my cues from one of my favorite childhood candies, Red Hots. It’s got natural sweeteners with a spicy kick. Now, you can adjust the spice to either be barely noticeable (or nonexistent) or crank it up until you cry joyful tears. But either way you go, this recipe will become a family favorite so much that you might consider carving another pumpkin just for the excuse to make more.
Or better yet, grab a few (or many) pie pumpkins and make your own pumpkin puree for all those pumpkin pies you plan to make for the holidays. Then you’ll be sitting on plenty of seeds to do with as you will (while tapping your fingers in a mad scientist way).
Tips for Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
If you’ve been keeping up with me over the past month, you know I’ve been going pumpkin crazy. So in that process, I’ve been sitting on caches of seeds to experiment around with. See what works and what doesn’t. And boy, have I learned a lot!
If you’ve roasted pumpkin seeds before, you know it is all pretty straightforward: scoop out seeds, wash, dry, roast with seasonings, and you’re done! But before you break out the colander and water, there are a few tweaks I’ve found that differ from most pumpkin seeds recipes and I’ve found the results are much better.
To start with, don’t wash your seeds.
Now, I know you probably are looking at your screen like I just told you the world was flat but just hear me out. You really don’t need to wash those seeds for a couple of reasons. One, it’s pumpkin so it’s completely edible and that pumpkin mess actually adds some flavor. It’s like comparing white and dark meat. Second, if you don’t wash them, you cut out that drying time so you can roast them right away. Seriously, who wants to have to wait a day anyway?
The other change I’ve found that really makes for the best-roasted pumpkin seeds is to bake them at a lower temperature (250F) for a little longer with only some oil and salt (if desired). This will give your seeds a wonderful toasted flavor with a pleasant crunch and won’t scorch or burn them in the process. It does almost double your roasting time but trust me, all good things to those who wait.
Once this roasting time is done you can leave them as they are, a simple salty snack, if you choose. Or if you want to add some seasonings just adjust your oven to 350F, toss your seeds with your seasonings, and bake for 5-10 minutes. That’s it. Pretty easy, right?
However, if you’re a complete newbie to roasting pumpkin seeds, I’ve got a post that goes over this process in detail that might help. Plus, you’ll get a savory pumpkin seeds recipe to try out as well for a change of pace.
Spice, Sweet, or No?
There are a couple of quick notes about this sweet pumpkin seeds recipe I thought it’d be important to mention. This recipe is wonderful whether you choose to spice it up with cayenne or not. The amounts that I have in this recipe should give you a lite sweetness with a kick of heat but these seeds will not be candied.
Depending on your heat tolerance, you can adjust this recipe to suit your taste but I’d advise adding (or subtracting) the cayenne in increments of 1/8 or 1/4 tsp. until you find your sweet (or spice) spot. The pun was intended. Likewise, if you are like me and try to keep your sugar consumption down, you can also, adjust your coconut sugar in the same way. If you don’t have coconut sugar, you can substitute with brown sugar at a 1:1 ratio.
Concerning the oil, I have found that coconut oil really works the best especially for sweet seasonings but if you don’t keep coconut oil in your kitchen any light oil that can stand some mid-range temperatures will do. I’d suggest either extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or refined almond oil.
I think that about covers it! Now, let’s get roasting!
Looking for a little kick that is oh-so-sweet? This is a completely vegan pumpkin seeds recipe that has no cane sugar.
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds unwashed
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp. himalayan salt optional
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon powder
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder optional
Preheat oven to 250 F.
Separate seeds from the pumpkin pulp but do not wash.
Put seeds, oil, and salt in a plastic bag or bowl and toss to coat evenly.
Spread them on a baking sheet and place in the center of the oven.
Bake seeds for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
Turn oven temperature to 350 F while seeds cool for about 10 minutes.
Place seeds back in the bag or bowl with the maple, cinnamon, cayenne, and sugar.
Roast for 5-10 minutes.
Seeds will be ready to eat once cooled or store in an airtight, dry container.
The calorie count is for a 1/4 cup of seeds. Depending on your heat tolerance, you can adjust this recipe to suit your taste but I’d advise adding (or subtracting) the cayenne in increments of 1/8 or 1/4 tsp. If you don’t have coconut sugar, you can substitute with brown sugar at a 1:1 ratio.
So do you like your pumpkin seeds more on the spicy or sweet side?
I hope you give this a try! These spicy maple pumpkin seeds have quickly become a favorite snack in this house. In fact, I’ve been stocking up on pie pumpkins so I can continue to make them throughout the holidays. Good thing I really love pumpkin!
If you have any questions regarding this recipe, please leave a comment below and I typically reply within 24 hours. Likewise, I would love to hear what you think!
Happy Roasting! And Happy Halloween!