Friday recipe: jack’o’lantern joys

Maybe it’s the invigorating temperatures, the beautiful turning leaves or the scent of candy corn in the air, but this time of year I’m moved to whip out my carving knife and plunge it into a pumpkin. No, I don’t have anger issues; rather, I’m eager to dig out those wonderful roastables inside, the pumpkin seeds.

'Tis the season for pepitas!
‘Tis the season for pepitas!

These nutty pepitas are nutritious and plentiful this time of year. Pumpkin seeds can be roasted and flavored pretty much however you want; check out these suggestions on the Food Network and Serious Eats. Below is one of my favorite roasted pumpkin seed versions – if you follow the Friday recipe blog with any regularity, you know I like my food hot.

To further honor the season’s super squash, I’m also including a quick and easy recipe from the DMU Wellness Center. Pop one of these cupcakes instead of all that Halloween candy – your waistline will thank you.

Spicy roasted pumpkin seeds

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350°. Scoop out the inside of your pumpkin, and separate seeds from pulp. Don’t worry if there’s a little pulp left on the seeds when you roast them—it only adds flavor. Just remove the biggest pieces so that the seeds are easy to toss.

In a bowl, toss the seeds with the melted butter, coating thoroughly. Add salt and seasonings.

Spread seeds in one even layer across a greased baking sheet (or you can use a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil).

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the seeds are golden brown. Stir the seeds every so often while they’re baking, so that they toast evenly.

Chocolate pumpkin muffins
Makes 12 muffins

  • 15 oz can of regular pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

  • 1 box of dark chocolate cake mix 

Place pumpkin in a bowl and then add the chocolate cake mix. You will probably need to add two tablespoons of water so that the mixture isn’t too dense.

Put the mixture in a muffin pan sprayed with non-stick spray and bake at 
350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.

Nutritional info per cupcake: calories, 195.2; calories from fat, 26; total fat, 2.9 g; saturated fat, 0.7 g; cholesterol, 0 mg; sodium, 140.4 mg; total carbohydrate, 17.0 g; dietary fiber, 0.4 g; sugars, 10.1 g; protein, 1.1 g.

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