Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ten Posts of Pumpkin: (2) Chili Lime Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I hate to do things I say I'll never do... but I'm going to talk about my featured food today in a v. "recommended with reservations" tone. I wanted to only write about the best foods ever on this blog. But I have mixed feelings about these badboys, am not willing to say they are among the best foods ever, and yet (and you'll see later why) I can't not recommend them.

So I'll just discuss the reservations - there are two of them - straight away:

1. Pumpkin seeds are harder to clean than I expected. In the big scheme of things, sure, they're not so bad. The bar exam and labor were harder. But, seriously, the pumpkin fibers don't just come right off once you've soaked your seeds. I had to do a fair amount of scrubbing and rinsing and they never ended up squeaky clean. So, yeah. There's that.

2. Way worse, however, was cleaning this:

pumpkin seed pan

Oh. My. Holy. [Expletives]

[Just kidding. I would never use expletives so freely. Never. Pumpkin seeds may not be squeaky clean but I sure am!]

[Except, you know, sometimes.]

Seriously, res ipso loquitor, right? That means the thing speaks for itself. In Latin. Or legal jargon anyway. The pan is liable for my reservations. Or maybe I'm liable, for being an idiot and not coating my pan with oil, like a normal, intelligent, non-baby-brained person would have done. Ugh. I already paid for it though and have some buffed arms to show for it. No amount of soaking helped. I scrubbed for probably over an hour. I scrubbed harder than I would have if I was the kind of person who owned a Dobie pad or steel wool or Comet. The kind of person I will likely be tomorrow.

I think the pumpkin seed washing process on the front end would have been fairly innocuous had the back end not involved hours of fruitlessly scrubbing a cheap pan. It just added up by the end and that's why I said yesterday that I'm still not certain pumpkin seeds are worth it. They might be worth it if you remember to grease your pan, or if you opt for an oil-coating on your pumpkin seeds rather than an egg wash.

I'm still learning.

If you are not pregnant and/or are more prone to greasing your pans on a regular basis and/or have successfully made pumpkin seeds before and are just looking for a new spice combo to play around with and/or ABSOLUTELY LOVE PUMPKIN SEEDS! AND WASHING THEM! AND BURNING PANS! AND WASHING BURNT PANS! then this recipe is for you.

You're SO welcome.

pumpkin seed collage

I should probably say something positive about these little somethings so that you can at least give me the benefit of the doubt and believe that I'm posting the recipe because the resulting product was actually tasty and not because I spent so much time cleaning on account of this project that I have to make all that work worthwhile by posting about it. (I appreciate the benefit of the doubt but concede that it's somewhere in the middle. They're good, and I'd probably post about them even if the process weren't a royal mess. But I could definitely not NOT write about them given the royal mess I had to clean up in order to enjoy them.)

The positives:

1. They are tasty.
2. They are crunchy.
3. They are pretty.

roasted pumpkin seeds

4. They are especially nice on the salad we ate for four days in a row after I made these: spinach, tossed with Chili Lime Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, dried cranberries, and torn mozzarella (which I made myself at a cheese-making class!) and dressed with 1 tablespoon flax seed oil and 1 tablespoon blackberry balsamic vinegar. Divine. And v. autumnal, yes?

pumpkin seed salad

5. Husbands really like them.

Let me know if you make them. And how your pan fares.

Chili Lime Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds

1 - 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds (I used all the seeds from both a pumpkin and butternut squash)
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon lime juice

Soak pumpkin seeds in large bowl of water and scrub them with your hands to get all the pumpkin flesh/fibers off. You might have to rinse off the seeds and refill the bowl with water a couple times. Drain in a colander and allow them to dry in one layer on a large towel. (I let them dry over night, but this is probably not necessary.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together all the other ingredients. Place the pumpkin seeds in a large bowl, drizzle the egg white mixture over the top and toss well to coat. Drain off any excess egg white using a strainer. Place the coated pumpkin seeds in one layer on AN EXTREMELY WELL-GREASED baking sheet. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, until seeds are golden. Allow to cool a bit and dive in.


  1. OMG. You're so funny. I LOL'd. I'm probably not going to make these though, k? You sort of scared me.

  2. You are funny!!! I love pumpkin seeds & try to make them every year. Oil is the key, they really stick otherwise! But I have to admit, buying roasted pumpkin seeds at the store is a LOT easier!!