For the last 5 years or so, I’ve taken great delight in pumpkin carving at Halloween. The whole process really gets my jets all fired up! You know…picking out the perfect pumpkin, deciding what to carve, being thankful it’s not a turnip like our parents had to hollow out when we were children! Then, the moment of magic arrives, you set about scooping and carving your spooky creation.
Up until last year, I’d been quite happily scooping and binning the insides of the pumpkins… that was until I saw a post on Instagram about saving the seeds and roasting them at home.
It was like a lightbulb moment! I immediately decided that I’d never waste pumpkin seeds again. Quick as a flash I had them in the oven, and delicious snacks of pumpkin goodness were born.
Making your own delicious pumpkin seed snacks is super easy.
1. Separate the seeds from the fleshy pulp you scoop out from inside the pumpkin.
2. Place the seeds into a sieve and rinse thoroughly. Pat the seeds dry with kitchen paper, or leave spread out on a baking tray lined with a clean tea towel over night.
3. Pre heat your oven to 160 degrees C
4. Drizzle a little olive oil over the seeds and add whatever you want as extra flavour. I’ve done half salted, and the other half smoked paprika.
5. Pop in the oven for 20 min or so, stirring occasionally to make sure they’re all roasted evenly. When they’re looking golden and toasted, remove from the oven. (Try and them cool before diving in!)
This week at the allotment, it’s been all about the brassicas. I don’t know if it’s been the cool temperatures, coupled with the rainy weather we’ve had, but it seems like they’ve just been loving it and have put on a bit of a growth spurt.
Today I’ve managed to harvest another lovely head of cauliflower and two (yes two) heads of broccoli! I’m so happy that the brassicas seem to be growing, after reading about growing this family of vegetables I was worried that the soil wouldn’t be right and they may develop club root (massive confession…I didn’t test the soil for acidity or add lime…or manure the plot…or add any additional nutrients or anything…but the weeds seem to grow fine so I thought I’d chance it!) or that some other brassica beast might strike them down, but so far they seem to be doing well.
Elsewhere on the allotment the Buffy Ball squash are starting to look like mini pumpkins and the tigrella tomatoes are just beginning to show their stripes.
These harvests of delicious home grown vegetables are definitely the gardeners rewards, I hope all veggie growers everywhere are enjoying their harvests too!