Have you ever roasted pumpkin? I hadn’t, at least not until recently. Having not had the experience of actually eating real, fresh pumpkin, I was challenged this week to roast and toast pumpkin and pumpkin seeds for the entire elementary school in my area. Admittedly, I was raised on canned pumpkin, and I ate it very infrequently!
Inspired and instructed by the editor of Relish Magazine, Jill Melton, I managed to quite successfully roast and toast pumpkin for the first time, and the school kids enjoyed it!
Here’s how I did it:
4 small sugar pumpkins, washed and cut into 5-6 wedges, seeds removed and reserved
In a 400 F oven, place the pumpkin wedges, skin-side down in a large roasting pan, filled with 2 inches of water. Cover with aluminum foil and roast for 20 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with brown sugar; let roast an additional 15 minutes.
Because the skin softens after roasting, you can eat it! Cut the pumpkin further into chunks or slivers, whichever suits your fancy. Roasted pumpkin is tasty by itself, pureed with chicken or vegetable stock for pumpkin soup, or used in the Thanksgiving classic, pumpkin pie.
Place washed pumpkin seeds on a parchment paper-covered cookie sheet and sprinkle with Kosher salt (or any other seasoning such as garlic powder, cayenne, cinnamon, etc). Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until the seeds are lightly browned.
Pumpkin is rich in many nutrients, but especially the antioxidants, Vitamin A and beta-carotene. Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. Both are nutrient-rich and fat-poor–a worthwhile source of calories and nutrients.
Take advantage of the plethora of nutrient-rich, tasty pumpkins in your area!