Halloween Traditions and Pumpkin Seeds

October is almost over, and Halloween is just around the corner! It's time to buy pumpkins, stock up on candy and decorate your home.

Whether visiting the pumpkin patch, making apple cider, or coming up with a fabulous, funny or creative costume, Halloween is a great holiday for bringing children, parents and friends together.

In our family, decorating the house is one of best parts of Halloween. Ever since my girls were little, we've been decorating for the holiday. Some of our favorite decorations include Mexican sugar skulls and the Day of the Dead figurines we've collected over the years. We always make sure to scatter lots and lots of candles around the house. Halloween time is all about that magic feeling that comes when one season gives way to the next. Nothing evokes a feeling of magic better than candles, and nothing says fall better than a carved pumpkin sitting on your stoop or in your window.

There are so many fun traditions around Halloween—apple picking, costume parties, visiting the pumpkin patch, and cooking comfort foods to get through the winter. My favorite Halloween recipe is Roasted Pumpkin Seeds in the Oven. They are simple, healthful, and because you have to carve the pumpkin on order to extract the seeds, the recipe comes with a ready-made activity to include your family and friends.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds in the Oven

Freshly scooped pumpkin seeds
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt

1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Clean the pumpkin seeds thoroughly by placing the seeds in a colander and running hot water over them. Work the pulp off with your hands. Get as much pulp off as you can; the less pulp left on the seeds, the crisper they’ll become once roasted.

3. Lay a dishtowel on the counter, folded over twice for extra absorbency, and pour on the rinsed seeds. Put another folded dishtowel over the top of the seeds and dry as thoroughly as possible. Drying them well helps with crispness too!

4. Lightly grease an edged baking sheet with olive oil. Pour the seeds on to the sheet and drizzle more olive oil and top. Grind the sea salt over the seeds and toss until the seeds are lightly coated.

5. Roast the seeds in the oven for 2 to 3 hours. Make sure you have time to check on and turn the seeds periodically during the process so they brown evenly.

6. Remove the seeds from the oven when they have turned golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes and enjoy. Store in a re-sealable container to keep fresh.

If you like my Roasted Pumpkin Seed recipe, refer to my book, Coming Home, for other great fall recipes to create a hearty pre trick-or-treating meal or a golden harvest dinner party.

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