Pumpkins Make First Appearance at Market Café

By Cara Brechler, Marketing Manager

Summer is over, and fall is here; goodbye peaches and zucchini, hello root vegetables and pumpkins! Pumpkins are an iconic part of the fall season, first appearing as jack-o’- lanterns at Halloween and then later as pie for Thanksgiving. The Market Café in San Jose, CA, wanted to mark the beginning of the season by featuring the pumpkin!

Local pumpkins from a Farm to Fork vendor will be for sale for all employees. And true to Bon Appetit’s sustainable standards, people will have the opportunity to use the whole thing. There will be a pumpkin carving contest, where employees can show off their knife skills and potentially win a pizza party for 12! Votes will be cast in three categories, fright factor, laughter inducing, and creativity.  Winning masterpieces will be displayed prominently during lunch on Halloween.

Pumpkin purchasers will also receive a chili lime spice mix and directions on how to spice and roast the seeds from their carving to create a delicious and healthy snack (technique below). Pumpkin seeds are high in vitamins and minerals and full of fiber, plus their subtly sweet and nutty flavor make a great addition to hot or cold cereal, salads, granola, and can even be ground up and added to a favorite burger recipe.

So even though the weather is getting colder and the days are getting shorter, grab a pumpkin and make a jack-o’- lantern  to light the way and roast some pumpkin seeds to get warmed up!

Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Possible Spice Combinations
Ginger and Orange Zest
Parmesan and Black Pepper
Cinnamon and Sugar
Cayenne and Smoked Paprika
Garlic pepper, Thyme, and Paprika
Cayenne and Sugar

Seed the Pumpkin
Using a spoon, scrape the pulp and seeds out of your pumpkin into a bowl.

Clean the Seeds
Separate the seeds from the stringy pulp, rinse the seeds in a colander under cold water, then shake dry.

Dry Them
Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes at 250 degrees to dry them out.

Add Spices
Toss the seeds with olive oil and spices of your choice. Return to the oven and bake until they are crisp and golden, about 20 more minutes but continue to check frequently.