Inspired by Lukashof
Two years ago I had a couple of guests from Austria. I’ve received a yummy gift – a little package of heavenly tasting roasted pumpkin seeds. It was so delish that I decided to keep the empty paper bag, in hope that one day I will try to re-make it from the ingredients list. Eventually, I decided to give it a go. After some experiments I came with a quite satisfying result, which you can see below.
This is so delicious, surprisingly easy and cheap to make. By adding just a few spices I was able to create some extraordinary taste out of rather predictable, yet tasty pumpkin seed.
This roasted seeds work great as a sophisticated party snack or a healthy sweet treat for kids. (My two year old loves them!). Simply wrapped in a baking paper and decorated with a plain ribbon they make an alternative gift idea with a rustic twist.
It takes only 15 minutes to make them but the bonus of your work is the gourmet taste in your mouth; really, there is no excuse not to make it, so go ahead and do it - you won’t regret!
Recently I found out that pumpkin seed oil is a culinary specialty of south eastern Austria (Styria). Styrian pumpkin seeds (Cucurbita pepo var. Styriaca) are very special as they grow without a shell, resulting in much larger seeds. How cool is that!
I probably don’t need to say that pumpkin seeds have many health benefits, as they are a good source of protein, zinc, and other vitamins and they are even said to lower cholesterol. Nevertheless, the styrian pumpkin seeds are particularly known for their "side-effect" of easing and preventing bladder and prostate problems.
So, next time when you are buying pumpkin seeds, try to explore shop shelves little bit more, maybe even get some Styrian ones.
200 g pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp cane sugar
½ vanilla bean
1 tsp dry ginger
juice squeezed from 1 orange
10 drops of essential orange oil, or orange zest from 1 orange
pinch of fine sea salt
1. Place pumpkin seeds in a non-stick frying pan (cast iron skillet works best in my opinion) over medium-high heat. Stir frequently with silicon or wooden spatula until seeds are lightly toasted and start to make a cracking noise. Put them on the side, in the bowl.
2. Using the same frying pan, which is already warm; dissolve the sugar in an orange juice and bring it to boil.
3. Add the orange oil, ginger and vanilla. Mix constantly until mixture thickens and sugar starts to caramelize. Stir in the pumpkin seeds. Mix until the seeds are coated and almost dry.
4. Remove the pan from heat and let the seeds cool completely on the pan then break into small chunks with your hands.
5. Taste, sprinkle with salt if you like.