Pumpkin Bumpkins

By Laura Kelly-Pifer

This weekend, my girls, their grandma and I did something that we do every year around this time.  We picked up a few pumpkins and they carved them out.  We have a blast doing it.  And the expressions on their faces as they scoop the pumpkin out are priceless….even at ages 15 and 12. 

Here’s how we do it…..I place newspapers over top of our dining room table, we have large spoons, a few short blade knives, sharpies, pens, stencil kits and a couple of bowls to separate the pulp from the seeds.  They design their own pumpkin and then Ready, Set, GO!

Now, I will be completely honest that the whole “carving” thing scares me.  As you can see from the pic above, Bailey was getting ready to make the first cut and I was a little hesitant on her doing it.  But, she is 15 and I have to let her do things on her own.  That can be hard sometimes…finding the balance to let them be and do as they get older.

After they finished carving their pumpkins, we placed them outside and lit a candle inside.  You’ll see that each one is unique. Bailey’s in the one that says “Morgan 13” and Morgan’s has the face.  Now you may be wondering what the significance is with Bailey’s pumpkin.  She is a die hard US Women’s National Soccer Team fan and Alex Morgan is her favorite player.  So, her tribute to Alex. 🙂

Once we were done carving pumpkins, I took what has to be my FAVORITE part of the pumpkin and bagged it up to make one of my “go to” healthy snacks.  So, using the pumpkin seeds and a few different spices, I’m able to create a healthy snack or salad topper that’s packed with protein.  If you’re carving your own pumpkins this year, here’s a recipe to try.  It’s easy to do and not very expensive to make.  A win-win for you and the kids.

1. Scoop seeds from squash or pumpkin. Remove as much of the flesh attached to the seeds as you can. If there’s a little left, that’s OK!

2. Spread seeds out on cookie sheet or in shallow metal baking pan in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil (amount will vary on how many seeds you are roasting) and sprinkle with chili powder and garlic salt. Or, you can pick any other spices from your cabinet that you want to try.  You could even make a couple different kinds. 

3. Roast in 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and “stir the seeds around”, flipping, stirring, rotating.  Just move them a bit and return them to “single layer status.”  Roast for another 5-8 minutes, or until most are crispy and have browned a bit.  Let cool a bit before eating!

Enjoy!

Do you carve pumpkins with your children?  What other spices or sweetness do you like to add when roasting your pumpkin seeds? I’d enjoy hearing more about you.

Wishing you good health!

Laura

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Laura Kelly-Pifer is a Fitness Coach who strives to help others by giving hope and support to those that are dissatisfied with their current situation. Whether you are lacking physically, emotionally, financially, or nutritionally she is here to help you see REAL RESULTS!

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