Autumn in New England

Fall in New England

Ready or not, it’s Autumn in New England.  The Maple leaves are just starting to turn color.  Not a lot, but just enough to let us know what’s lurking around the corner…winter….and from what I’ve read, it’s going to be a doozy with lots of ice and snow.

Autumn is my favorite time of year. You can smell it in the air…it’s different…it’s crisp. Day temperatures are still warm in the 70s and the night temperatures dip to the low 50s for perfect Airedale Terrier Jacksleeping.  And most important…the horrible humidity of August and September has finally left and the air is comfortable and dry.  It’s the perfect time for long walks with Jack, our Airedale Terrier, to visit the horses he loves he loves to stare at and we take our time enjoying the weather.

Fall in New England is the time to close up gardens, complete painting jobs left unfinished, chop and stack firewood, tune up the snowblower, re-organize the garage and tuck all the outdoor patio furniture in the barn until next Spring.  And while we still have roses and hibiscus blooming and are still harvesting fresh tomatoes and peppers every day, images of Halloween and pumpkins creep into my thoughts.

Speaking of pumpkins…  There are pumpkin festivals to attend, scarecrows to make, giant pumpkin weigh-ins, pumpkin painting, haunted trails to enjoy and corn mazes to get lost in.

Click here to make something amazing today…my Homemade Pumpkin Pudding.

pumpkins

Pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin smoothies, Shipyard Pumpkin Head beer and roasted pumpkin seeds…..ahhhh, oh yea!

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

For a sweet or savory snack that’s relatively simple to prepare, try these suggestions when carving your Halloween pumpkin this year.

  • Using a sharp knife or pumpkin carving tool, remove a section of the top of the pumpkin and roasting pumpkin seedsset aside.
  • Pull the seeds out with your fingers and then scrape the pulp out. This method is easier and faster than scooping out the pulp first and then trying to separate it from the slippery seeds.
  • Rinse the seeds under running water, removing any lingering pulp.
  • Soak the seeds in salted water for 8 to 48 hours. This process will deactivate enzyme inhibitors in the seeds that could possibly irritate your stomach. Plus, deactivating these enzymes allows the production of more vitamins in the seeds.  Yes, pumpkin seeds have vitamins.
  • Dry the seeds as well as you can with paper towels.

Health benefits of the tiny pumpkin seed

The pumpkin seed is a nutritional powerhouse when it comes to benefits:

  • They contain heart healthy magnesium,
  • Zinc…to boost your immune system, cell growth, sleep, eye and skin health, senses of taste and smell and more.
  • They contain plant based omega-3 fats
  • They support prostate health and can relieve menopausal symptoms
  • Pumpkin seeds may help improve insulin regulation
  • They are rich in healthy fats, antioxidants and fiber

Halloween Jack-O-Lantern

To make your carved Halloween Jack-O-Lantern look fresher longer, try this:  Before carving, wash the outside of the pumpkin with water mixed with a little bleach.  Then rub Vaseline petroleum jelly on all the carved edges and spray water daily into each opening.

Here’s where the fun begins…roasted pumpkin seeds

  • Sprinkle the seeds with Kosher salt and you’re done

OR…

For a savory snack:

  • Toss 1 cup of seeds with 1 tablespoon olive oil and then season with any of the following: Old Bay seasoning, Cajun seasoning, chili powder or garlic powder.

For a sweet snack:

  • Toss the pumpkin seeds with a mixture of sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Get creative:

  • For a big, bold bite toss the seeds in hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce.
  • Toss with other powder seasonings such as steak seasoning.

Let the Roasting Begin…

  • Spread the seeds on a baking sheet in one layer.
  • If desired, you can broil them, no more than 10 minutes though. Watch them carefully or they will burn. After 10 minutes they’re ready OR flip them over and broil the other side for another 10 minutes for a super crispy treat.
  • If you’d rather, they can be baked in a 325 degree oven until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Flip and shake every 5-10 minutes so they don’t burn.
  • Cool before trying to eat them or you will surely burn your tongue.

Here’s an idea…

Save some pumpkin seeds, spread them out on a baking sheet to dry for several days in direct sunlight. Store them in an airtight glass jar until next Spring when you can plant them in your garden.

Want to prepare your own Homemade Pumpkin Puree

It’s not necessary as you can find organic pumpkin puree at most grocery stores. Farmer’s Market brand is USDA organic, is NON GMO and while it’s canned, the can lining is BPA free.  Just look at the ingredients and you’ll see only one: certified organic pumpkin. I always have a can or two in the pantry which I can use any time of the year.

BUT, if you still want to prepare your own, I’ve got you covered…

To make about 3 cups, you’ll need a 2 pound or more sugar pumpkin(s). Cut pieces in large chunks and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast in a 350 degree oven until tender, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly and when cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and put it into a food processor. Process until smooth. Place the puree in a sieve lined with cheesecloth and drain for several hours or or overnight.

⇒Straining is important if you want to make pies and baked goods. However, if you are using it for a sauce, chili, quinoa or risotto, you don’t need to strain it as much.

Want to read more about Autumn in New England? Click here: Season’s of New England, Part 2

Skål

Happy Autumn 🙂halloween-pumpkin

I look forward to your feedback and comments, below.  Do you have a favorite memory or special way to prepare roasted pumpkin seeds that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you.

                                                                

 

 

20 comments to Autumn in New England

  • Linda

    Autumn is a fantastic time of the year, I can almost feel the fresh air when I read your post. I usually buy pumpkin seeds in the market and eat to my morning yoghurt. But it never crossed my mind that I could roast them on my own at home. Sound like fun to be able to use the seeds instead of just wasting them. I would also love to try to plant some, I think it would be great to have pumpkins in my garden:)

    • Karen

      Thanks for visiting, Linda. There is nothing better tasting than roasted pumpkin seeds with a little salt sprinkled on them. I hope you will try them this fall…the flavor is so much better than ones purchased in the market. If you do roast your own, please let me know how you like them.

  • anthony

    This seems like a idea for an autumn dish. Pumpkin-Pie is easily one of my favorite seasonal foods. I do not cook and avoid the kitchen like it’s the home of the devil. However this recipe seems like something I could actually do. I just wish that you would provide more easy recipes on this site.

    • Karen

      Hello, Anthony…thanks for your feedback. I’d love to hear if you actually tried a recipe and what you thought. With the exception of one recipe that immediately comes to mind, Beef Bourguignon, I prefer to provide recipes that are easy to prepare. Who has the time and desire to slave over complicated recipes every day? Interesting though, the marjority of my visitors are men. So, I invite you to try one of the dishes on this site and let me know how you do…you may just surprise yourself and whomever you’re sharing dinner with.

      If you have a dish in mind that you’d love to prepare, let me know and I’ll show you the easiest way to pull it together.

  • Florence Ki

    This is so interesting. I just thought of cooking pumpkin but then came across this. Lol…. My country doesn’t celebrate Halloween and I don’t even know that its seeds are edible. Wow…. thanks for sharing such valuable information. I will definitely try this at home. Btw, is there any guide you can provide when selecting pumpkin?

    • Karen

      Hello, Florence…thank you for your feedback and comments. When choosing a pumpkin, pick one that’s orange all over – no green or brown areas. it should be heavy with no soft areas and have a sturdy stem.

      If you are having a party, you can fill the scooped out pumpkin with ice cubes and place a few bottles of wine to be chilled or even beer. Serve the roasted pumpkin seeds and you’ll be a hit…everyone will want your recipe. Let me know how it goes!

      Karen

  • Sheila

    Hi Karen,
    I would so love to see New England in the Fall,I’m sure it is breathtaking. This is also my favorite time of year, for the weather, the colors and especially the smells coming from my kichen. Pumpkin is a staple this time of year although I really do not care to carve them as it is always so messy and a chore. I usually just buy canned pumpkin for my recipes. I’m looking forward to trying some of yours.

    • Karen

      Hi, Sheila…thank you for visiting my site. This fall has been pretty incredible as far as the spectacular foliage is concerned. The days are perfect for walks with Jack, our Airedale Terrier, and putting all the gardens to “bed” for the winter. I agree that carving a pumpkin is a messy chore and canned pumpkin puree is always in the pantry ready to go.
      Let me know what recipes you try and enjoy…I’d love to get your feedback.
      Karen

  • Sammy

    Hi Karen, i have not tried the pumpkin carving before. it looks like quite interesting. Halloween is not that happening in my country, not everyone is celebrating it. we just have some gathering and some trick and treat for kids. Thanks for the pumpkin seed recipe, will definitely try it out for our this years halloween gathering.

    • Karen

      Hi, Sammy…Halloween is a pretty big deal here in the states. Many towns here in New England celebrate with pumpkin festivals and we have Salem, Massachusetts, the center of everything “Witch”.

      I hope you and your guests enjoy the roasted pumpkin seeds at your Halloween gathering, I know they’ll be a big hit!

  • Angela

    Hello Karen,
    All I can say is that I am so glad I came across your website, it is just packed with some fantastic information, recipes and tips galore!. I love the fall time, with the cool nights and the colorful leaves. (I know some people do not get to experience this and the beauty it displays.

    Pumpkins seeds are good to munch on. Do you have any recipes for anything pumpkin, like pies, rolls, cookies, (or am I overlooking it)

    • Karen

      Hello, Angela…thank you for the kind words. Look under “Sides” and you’ll see my recipe for Pumpkin Bread, which is SO delicious. Also, there’s a recipe for Autumn Pumpkin Spice Muffins, which are really more like a cupcake, under “Just Desserts”. I hope you’ll try them both and let me know what you think.

      I’m working on a new pumpkin dessert recipe so please check back soon and give it a try.

  • Debby

    Hi Karen. I really like your site and I love the name Table 38! Sounds like the recipe came from a European Bistro somewhere. I will try doing pumpkin seeds again now. I did them before without the soaking and was not very impressed, lol.

    I’m happy to see your pumpkin bread recipe as I was just talking about making some last night with some friends. Looks like a solid recipe to try, and I love the idea of putting the toasted seeds on top.

    Have you ever tried baking with any of the alternative flours such as almond meal or garbanzo bean flour, etc? We eat a whole foods diet and are trying to reduce white flour, etc in our diets. Needless to say, I’ve made some very inedible breads, etc, lol, and am always looking for recipes that have been tested out by someone else.

    Blessings,

    Debby

    • Karen

      Thank you, Debby. The unsalted roasted pumpkin seeds I use for the top of my pumpkin bread can be found at the grocery store where the dried fruit and healthy granola snacks are sold.
      The only other flour I’ve tried so far is wheat flour but I’m always up for trying something new. Some recipes that call specifically for cake or white flour just don’t taste good using any other type. But, if you find a recipe that is delicious using almond meal or garbanzo bean flour, please let me know. I’d love to try it.
      Thanks for the feedback and comments,
      Karen

  • Samantha

    As someone who loves fall and fall recipes so much, I think it’s so strange that I’ve never really eaten pumpkin seeds very often before. So thank you for this post!

    I hope this isn’t a silly question, but is there a benefit to getting pumpkin seeds right from your own pumpkin as opposed to buying them from the store? I only ask because I typically don’t buy a Halloween pumpkin.

    • Karen

      Hi, Samantha,

      I just made pumpkin bread (check out my recipe) this past weekend and sprinkled about 1/4 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds over the top before baking. You can find them at the grocery store where the dried cranberries and sunflower seeds are sold. If you can’t find them…just ask. If you don’t buy pumpkins in the fall, this is the easiest way to get your roasted pumpkin seed fix. And unlike waiting for fall and pumpkin season, you can enjoy them year round. My pumpkin bread recipe is made with canned, real pumpkin puree so who needs to wait for fall and a whole pumpkin anyway? And…pumpkin is SO healthy for you. I make this bread (and muffins) year round.

      Which is better? If you’re buying natural pumpkin seeds…read the label to make sure there are no added ingredients or preservatives. When I purchase pumpkin seeds, I choose unsalted. This way I control how much salt I use.

      Thanks for your feedback and comments, Samantha. I hope you will check out my recipe for Pumpkin Bread and let me know how much you love it.

      Karen

  • Jack

    Hi Karen

    I love this post i was just browsing and cam accross your interesting site, i love pumpkin and i will use this recipe when the time is right, i will surprise a friend with it ,, thank you for that.

    I was wondering what else you could make from pumpkin as every 30th of October so many people waste their pumpkins.

    I look forward to hearing your reply.

    • Karen

      Hi Jack… Glad you enjoyed it. There are lots of pumpkin recipes such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, muffins, smoothies etc etc. BUT like most people with time constraints, it’s simple and easy to use canned pumpkin. After Halloween I put the carved out pumpkin in the field for the birds, deer, turkeys and other wild life that live in our woods to enjoy. Within a week, it’s been eaten. I have a recipe for Pumpkin Bread under “Sides” in the main menu. Try it….you’ll love it.

      Thanks for your feedback and I hope you will read my other blogs and try some great recipes.

      Happy Halloween,

      Karen

  • Elizabeth

    I have fall fever so bad! I’ve already started decorating the house and have been pinteresting new ideas. My favorite part about carving pumpkins is the pumpkin seeds. I’ve sprinkled cinnamon on them in the past but my favorite is just the classic salt covered ones. Do you have any great recipes for pumpkin bread?

    • Karen

      Thank you for your comments…sometimes the simplest ideas are the best! I will add a recipe for pumpkin bread shortly so be sure to check back soon.
      Thanks for the request,
      Karen

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