Oh how I love fall! Seriously, I feel like it’s exactly what I needed. I feel a sense of energy that I really couldn’t grasp during the hot summer months, which kind of bummed me out. But now, now there’s pumpkins and apples and pears and plums—and best of all, cool weather! I’m in heaven.
You know what else is awesome? Hayrides and pumpkins and apple picking. A few weekends ago Aaron and I took a ride out to New Jersey with some friends to go apple picking. It’s something that I always looked forward to growing up, but I haven’t done it for at least 10 years… It’s so much fun, I can’t believe I’ve deprived myself of this simple joy for so long.
The chance to get out in nature is rare for us, so when we actually do it, it feels like such a treat. Just wandering through the apple orchard, searching for the best apples—perhaps tasting 1 or 2 or 10—and joking around with friends was a great way to celebrate the season.
We came home with apples and lovely, plump pumpkin and I knew exactly what I wanted to do to that puppy—pumpkin seeds!
I cut open the pumpkin and dug into it while memories of making jack-o-lanterns swirling around me as I inhaled the smell of the pumpkin. After getting all the seeds out, I rinsed them, getting all the guts off of them and then got to work toasting them. I used a sauté method, which was simple but perhaps a little more time consuming than the oven method. I think it added a little extra flavor to the seeds and with the addition of some warm fall spices—cayenne, cinnamon and smoked paprika—they turned into an addictive little treat. So if you’re carving pumpkins or just want a tasty treat this fall—whip up some spiced pumpkin seeds! Oh, and don’t forget to get out to the orchard!
Roasted Spiced pumpkin seeds recipe
makes about 2 cups
1-2 Tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then toast pumpkin seeds, stirring constantly, until seeds are puffed and beginning to pop, about 5-8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, combine the spices in a medium bowl, when the seeds are cool enough to touch, add to the bowl and combine with the spices. Serve immediately.