Wednesday, December 23, 2009
When we were kids, a bowl of roasted pumpkin seeds (what Armenians called "gud") always meant company was coming.
I could nibble through the whole bowl in no time, which is why they were usually locked away or stashed up high. Running out simply wouldn't do, as they were among the required mezzeh items that Armenians have always lavished on guests.
I can still nibble through a bowl in no time, but nowadays it's at least defensible and maybe even a smart thing for someone my age to do.
Roasted pumpkin seeds get raves from health-smart food sources. Among their good qualities are high levels of zinc, which is very much in vogue. Among the touted benefits are improved prostate and bone health in older (ahem...) men and potential cholesterol-lowering properties for everyone. Gud has even been promoted as a treatment for arthritis pain, according to the folks at Whole Foods.
Regardless of whether they're really a miracle snack, they're sure fun to eat. They're a little less fun to prepare because you have to scoop out a pumpkin, separate the seeds, dry them, soak them, boil them and roast them.
Or use my favorite method and buy them ready to eat.
If you insist on doing things the old fashioned way, try simmering the seeds in salted water for a half hour or so. Then spread them on a baking pan and roast at 350 for another half hour to 45 minues.
Just be careful not to let them burn.