Last weekend we finally went to the pumpkin patch, the Colorado Pumpkin Patch, to be exact. It was super fun and such a perfect day, almost a little too warm to feel like autumn, but perhaps that's just my Midwestern self coming out. The important thing is that we all had fun, especially the girls. Our little bird and bean must have been up and down these slides fifty times. Our bird, true to her nickname, opted for the bigger slides most of the time, while our bean stuck to the smaller slide. After a while we got them off the slide to try out stilts, a bounce house, corn pit, maze, tractor ride, and more. A picnic lunch made it a perfect afternoon.
And of course, we got our pumpkins! Carving pumpkins with little kids is always an adventure. Some really love to get their hands dirty, some not so much. Every year it changes, just like every day our girls change their minds about what they'd like to be for Halloween! When our little bird was super little, I got to choose her costume and made one around the hat my friend knitted for her. I wish she could still fit into that, sniff. We did our own pumpkins that year because she was so little.
The next year we tried painting pumpkins. That did not go over so well.
This year with our girls being a bit older, we thought we give carving a try. We put on some scary symphony music and let them dig in. We did the cutting of course, but they stuck with the dirty work pretty well.
And of course, where there are pumpkins, there are seeds!
I love roasted pumpkin seeds. I can't remember a year when we didn't go to the pumpkin patch and carve pumpkins when I was little. My mom loved cooking and we spent a lot of time together in the kitchen. I like to think that's where I get my love of all things culinary. There are lots of good recipes for roasted pumpkin seeds and I'm going to share the types that we tried and loved.
I've read other posts about the "magic" that happens when you place your pumpkin seeds in water. Supposedly, all the orange pumpkin bits sink to the bottom and the seeds miraculously float to the surface, making it so easy to clean them.
I guess I don't have magical water.
I really wish I did. It would be pretty amazing to have the seeds magically become clean and ready to roast. Unfortunately, it took me a while to strip seeds from the scoopings, then pick out pumpkin bits from the water. I'd like to think that's not just me, but most people's experience. If you've got a magical method, please do share it with us! I like to let the seeds dry on towels before roasting. I feel like it gives a better result. I actually left my seeds out overnight, kinda by accident. Didn't matter. They still turned out great!
When you're ready to roast, give yourself about 45-50 minutes total. You'll need time to mix up your seasoning blend and then roast, and stir, for about 30-40 minutes.
We made two different flavors this year: Chile Lime and Maple Cinnamon. I LOVED them both. I think my least favorite day of autumn is the day the last pumpkin seeds are eaten, and this year will be no different.
A quick, basic recipe for prepping your seeds:
1/2 cup seeds
1 tsp olive, coconut, or oil of your choice
seasoning of choice
Our Maple Cinnamon roasted seeds used about 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 1 tsp ground cinnamon. You could easily replace that with a drop of cinnamon essential oil, but wait to add it until the seeds have roasted and cooled a bit!
The Chile Lime seeds used 1 tsp chili spices, a dash cayenne pepper, and the juice of half a lime, plus some zest. You can also replace the lime with Lime essential oil, but be forewarned, you will miss the acid of the lime. The essential oil is pressed from the rind and has more zest flavor.
Mix your seeds to coat them well, then spread them evenly over a pan. Parchment paper makes for easy clean up. If you leave space between the seeds, they roast more evenly, but I was kinda in a time crunch.
I roasted my seeds at 300 degrees for about 40 minutes, stirring every 10. I had two full pans in the oven at the same time, and swapped from the upper to lower rack with each stir. You might only need 30 minutes if you one pan. I also live at more than 5,000 feet, so my oven times might be different than yours.
You'll know your seeds are roasted and ready when they start to look nicely golden brown!
There are so many options for seasoning with pumpkin seeds, or any seed or even bean for that matter! You could switch these out for chickpeas, sunflower seeds, edamame, or other legumes. Open your spice cabinet (or your oils box) and start experimenting!
Found a yummy combo? Be sure to share, take a picture and post it below or on Instagram with #nealeythereeo !
Call it what you will, autumn or fall, it is by far my favorite season. I love to get out the cozy sweaters, extra blankets and snuggle by the fire. My girls are super excited for the leaves to fall so we can jump in them. And, of course, Halloween is just around the corner.
Autumn is the best time of year to bring out the crock-pot and start making yummy soups. I don't know that there is much better than a steamy hot bowl of something delicious, a fresh, crusty baguette, and creamy, smooth real butter. I'm in heaven!
Autumn is also the best season for squash. The other day we picked up a small-ish butternut and a small acorn squash for this soup, but there are so many varieties available these days. How many can you name?
1. Kabocha (Japanese for squash)
3. Red Kabocha
5. Sugar pumpkin - your best choice for REAL pumpkin puree! Roast, mash and you're ready!
6. Sweet Dumpling
8. Blue Hubbard
10. Red Kuri
Aside from the spaghetti squash and sugar pumpkin, just about any of these would make a great soup. Some have a more nutty flavor, some are more mellow and sweet. I highly recommend you bring home a variety you haven't tried before and experiment!
This is the ultimate crock-pot soup. It is so easy, it's crazy. I'm a bit smitten with it to be honest. It's the perfect creamy, coconut-y, warming, flavorful soup. It's also crazy easy to change it up a bit, too. It takes a bit of peeling and chopping to prep, but once that's done, leave it on low and let it go! Some recipes call for roasting a squash first, which definitely makes it easier to scoop out the good stuff. I wanted to save some time and opted to peel the squash instead. A regular vegetable peeler works just fine. Then chop into smaller chunks, add your onion, coconut oil, and your bone broth, salt and pep, cover and walk away for a while. Take a mug of tea or mulled wine, read a book, play in the leaves with your kids, whatever feels fall-ish to you.
After a few hours the squash will be all nice and soft. Here's where I break out the immersion blender. I inherited this from my mom, and along with her 1970's Sunbeam food processor, it's one of my favorite kitchen tools. If you don't have one of these, transfer the mixture to a regular blender and blend until smooth. This basic soup is such a simple, hearty, healthy soup you might want to make a big batch and freeze some for those nights you need a quick dinner at the ready.
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 small acorn squash, peeled and chopped
1 small red onion, peel and chopped
2 cups bone broth (or vegetable)
1 can coconut milk (I prefer full fat)
Salt and Pepper to taste
If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #nealeythereeo on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.
I'm Tonia, a Midwesterner transplanted to Colorado. I'm a mom of two lovely littles, a yoga instructor, DIY-er, teacher, stay at home mom, and a doTERRA Wellness Advocate. I blog about a little bit of all of these and everything in between!
Are you looking for natural health options, but don't know where to start? Book a 1-on-1 appointment with me! We'll spend about 30 minutes getting to know your health goals and concerns, learn a bit about doTERRA, and go over the most commonly used oils that meet your needs. You don't have to buy anything, but if you see something you like, of course I can help you!