Save the seeds from your pumpkins this year and make roasted pumpkin seeds for a healthy, crunchy snack. If you’re carving a Jack-O-Lantern, then don’t waste the goodness inside, follow this easy step-by-step guide, and you’ll be rewarded with a special treat!
Whether you’re carving spooky Halloween pumpkin faces or making homemade pumpkin puree from scratch, don’t forget to save those edible seeds inside! I had a fond childhood memory of my elementary school teacher showing our class how to roast pumpkin seeds in a toaster oven after making our Jack-O-Lanterns. This healthy snack recipe is easy to make at home and a fun project to get the kiddos involved.
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Don’t throw out the seeds! Make a tasty and healthy snack in a few simple steps to add flavor and irresistible texture to each bite. Pumpkin seeds are composed of two parts; the cream-colored shell and the kernel or pepita which is olive green in color. Both are edible, so you can’t go wrong roasting the whole seed and enjoying the maximum nutritional benefits.
STEP 1: Remove the Seeds
Use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to remove the inside pulp, stringy fibers, and entangled raw seeds from the pumpkin. The seeds from carving pumpkins and pie pumpkins are edible. Depending on the size of your pumpkin, the more or less yield you will have. My pumpkin seed recipe uses a 3-pound pie pumpkin that I used to make homemade pumpkin puree for a delicious pumpkin pie.
STEP 2: Wash and Dry Seeds
Add the seeds to a colander, wash and remove any pulp left on the seeds. It’s okay if some flesh remains. Make sure to dry the seeds as much as possible in between a towel. This process will help to crisp up the seeds during roasting. Any excess moisture will create steam in the oven and prolong the cooking time.
STEP 3: Season the Seeds
Toss the seeds in a bowl with olive oil, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. Make sure to separate and spread the seeds evenly on a lightly greased cookie sheet for even roasting.
STEP 4: Roast the Seeds
The seasoned pumpkin seeds get roasted at a moderate heat of 350°F (177ºC) for about 12 to 15 minutes, tossing the seeds every 5 minutes to encourage even browning. When the seeds give a nutty aroma and golden brown color, they are ready!
Benefits of Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
- Ease: Since you’re already taking the time to cut and remove the seeds, why not pre-heat the oven and quickly make a snack!
- Versatility: I’m sure your pantry is already filled with seasonings to create unique and tasty combinations. You can use any seasoning mix, like some chili powder for heat, curry powder or cumin for a more earthy flavor, or even a sweet taste with cinnamon and maple syrup. Feel free to use vegetable oil, butter or coconut oil instead of olive oil.
- Nutrition: Eating the whole pumpkin seed provides fiber and an excellent source of zinc from the shell and the nutrients phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and iron. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, in 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds provides approximately 126 calories, 5.3 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of fat mainly from unsaturated sources, 15 grams of carbohydrates and 5 grams of total dietary fiber.
If you’re a fan of pumpkin seeds, I’d love to hear your flavor combinations and uses in the comments section below!
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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177ºC).
- Wash pumpkin seeds in a colander to remove the pulp and fibers. Thoroughly dry with a towel.
- In a small bowl combine pumpkin seeds, olive oil, salt, garlic powder, paprika (if using), and black pepper.
- Lightly grease a sheet pan with olive oil. Evenly spread the seasoned pumpkin seeds on the sheet pan.
- Bake until the seeds are toasted and crunchy, about 12 to 15 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes for even toasting, and check for doneness with each stir by tasting a seed for crunchiness.
- Transfer the roasted pumpkin seeds to a bowl to cool down.
- Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
- The recipe can be easily doubled or tripled depending on how many seeds your pumpkin yields.
- To make separating the pulp from the seeds a bit easier, add them to a medium sized bowl. Fill the bowl with warm water and rub the seeds together in the palm of your hands to remove the stringy flesh. Allow the seeds to float to the top of the bowl, then use a spoon to skim them from the surface. Transfer to a colander to further rinse before drying.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
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