Pumpkin Party | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Pumpkin Party

I eat pumpkin seeds year-round, but it's never as gratifying as roasting the seeds out of your own jack-o'-lantern. Most ready-to-eat varieties are more salt than seed, and while it's possible to find unseasoned hulled seeds, I prefer them whole, hot from the oven and wildly spiced. If you host a carving party, scavenge your friends' pumpkin guts, and you won't be forced to choose between flavors.

Each of the following mixes will dress approximately a cup of seeds.

Separate your seeds from the sinewy pumpkin innards, and give them a rinse. I prefer the quickest method for getting the spices to stick to the seeds. If you'd like a substantial crust on your pumpkin seeds, toss the seeds and spices in a well-beaten egg white just before baking. Otherwise, you can toss them with spices in the oil of your choice.

Spread into a single layer on an oiled sheet pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

If you have leftover mix, try it on nuts, seeds or use as popcorn seasoning.

Firecracker Spice Mix
Combine 2 teaspoons salt (smoked salt, if you have it) with a pinch each of cumin powder, paprika and cayenne pepper.

Fall Spice Mix
Combine 3 teaspoons sugar with the pulverized contents of a chai teabag. 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice will do, but the tea flavor is incredible.

Asian Spice Mix
Combine 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons sugar.

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