Don’t throw away the seeds your remove from your pumpkins this fall – save them and reuse them by roasting them for a healthy and tasty snack instead!
Pumpkin seeds have a hard, cream-colored shell, and contain a green kernel that the Mexicans call pepita. Both parts are edible, so there’s no reason not to roast the whole seed for the most nutrition.
1. Take the seeds out
The seeds from cooking pumpkins and carving pumpkins are both edible, so save the seeds from both types. The larger the pumpkin, generally the more seeds you will get. Scoop them out with a spoon, along with the stringy orange fibers.
2. Wash the seeds and dry them
Put the seeds in a colander, and wash them gently to remove the stringy bits and pulp – it’s ok if some is left on. Dry the seeds as much as you can in a towel, as the drier you can get them, the crisper they will go during roasting. Excess moisture will turn into steam in the oven, and it will take longer to roast the seeds.
3. Add some seasoning to the seeds
85 grams raw pumpkin seeds 15ml olive oil 3g salt ¼ tsp garlic powder ¼ tsp paprika (optional) 1/8 tsp black pepper
Put the seeds in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. Mix them around well to coat evenly in the mixture. Separate any clumps of seeds and spread them out on a lightly greased baking sheet so that they will roast evenly.
4. Roast in the oven
Put your oven on to 350F/160C fan/gas mark 4 to preheat. When the oven is hot, roast the pumpkin seeds on the baking sheet for around 12-15 minutes. Toss the seeds every five minutes to make sure they are evenly browned.
When the seeds are golden brown and smell nutty, they are ready. Let them cool before serving. You can keep roasted pumpkin seeds in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Why Roast Pumpkin Seeds?
They’re easy to make
As you’re already going to scoop them out of the pumpkin to throw away, it takes very little time at all to switch the oven on and prepare them for a quick snack instead.
They taste great
You can use any mix of seasonings you have to hand, like chili powder for a kick of heat, cumin, or curry powder for an earthy flavor, or make a sweet snack with cinnamon and maple syrup. You can also use coconut oil, butter, or vegetable oil instead of olive oil.
Pumpkin seeds are full of fiber, and are a good source of zinc, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and iron.