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Carving a pumpkin or cutting up winter squash?  Don't discard one of the best parts-  the seeds!

The pumpkin seeds you buy at health food store are specially-grown, fat, hulled seeds.  Ones you take out of a jack-o-lantern are flatter and nearly impossible to shell.  Actually the shells crisp up nicely, are crunchy and contain a good bit of extra fiber.  

While these seeds are not low calorie, they do contain a significant amount of healthy oils, vitamin A, some B vitamins, iron, fiber and are reputed to contain other healthful and curative qualities as well.  They certainly beat sugary snacks or chips!  Best of all, they're virtually free.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Preheat oven to 325░ F.

1 quart water
2 tbsp salt
2 cups pumpkin seeds (or squash seeds)
1 tbsp olive oil

Remove strands of pumpkin from the seeds and rinse.   Add salt and seeds to water and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes.

Drain the seeds well and stir in the olive oil, mixing thoroughly to coat all the seeds. Lightly oil a baking pan or cookie sheet with sides, and spread out the seeds.

Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Seeds should be crispy and golden but not browned.

If you don't eat them immediately, store in a tightly capped container in the refrigerator or freezer.

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