Roasted pumpkin seeds are a thing of nostalgia for me. There was at least one time a year that I had roasted pumpkin seeds for as long as I can remember. Pumpkin carving night. Which was always a day or two before Halloween. My mom would lay out newspaper all over the kitchen floor as my dad opened and scooped out the pumpkin innards and plopped them into a big ol’ pile on the paper. My younger sisters and I would then pick the seeds out and place them in a big ol’ bowl that my mom would take for us and bake while we went on to carve our jack o lanterns. Once all of our pumpkins were carved, my dad would take them all outside and gather us around as he placed a candle inside each one and lit them. And as we all stood there covered in pumpkin pulp, hands sore from the hours of meticulously carving, we would eat the warm pumpkin seeds while admiring our handiwork. Those magical holiday moments are so special, we remember them years later and pass those traditions on to our kids.
So- let’s make some magic together, shall we? 😉 Read on for my families roasted pumpkin seed recipe!
First we gotta extract the seeds. Cut a hole in the top of your pumpkin around the stem if you are planning to use it as a jack o lantern (make sure to do this at an angle so your pumpkin top doesn’t just slip inside your scooped out pumpkin- it might have taken the first twelve years of my life to discover this for myself!) If you are planning to cook with your pumpkin you can just cut the whole darn thing right in half!
Either way, take a big metal spoon and scoop out the pumpkin guts. Once your pumpkin is all clean, set aside for carving or roasting and turn your attention to the pumpkin innards. This is the fun part. I recommend putting on a pair of gloves because it’s about to get real messy in here. Separate the seeds from the pulpy innards as best you can. If you are planning to make a pumpkin stock, try to save as much of the pulp as possible. Place the pumpkin seeds into a colander. Once you’ve separated all of the seeds from the pulp it’s time to rinse them in warm water to get all the pulp residue off.
This is a good time to preheat your oven to 350. Boil a pot of salt water. Use about 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt per ½ cup of pumpkin seeds. Use more or less salt as you see fit. Once the water is at a boil, add the pumpkin seeds and keep at a gentle boil for 12 or so minutes. This step helps to soften the seeds, making them easier to chew and digest. It takes away the ‘raw’ texture that seeds can have if you omit this step. After the 12 minutes is up drain the seeds, dry off with a paper towel and put your seeds in a clean bowl.
Drizzle with just enough olive oil to coat the seeds and add whatever seasonings you enjoy! My suggestions include:
-cinnamon and sugar
You can pretty much use whatever seasonings you want! Once you have added your desired spices in your desired amounts, give the seeds a good stir to coat them all evenly. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread out the seeds evenly.
Bake for 8 minutes, give a stir and bake for an additional 8 more minutes until just beginning to brown. Sacrifice a few seeds for a taste test. Due to such drastic difference in sizes between pumpkin types, you will have to keep an eye on them. They are done when the outer shell is crispy and easy to chew, and the inner seed is just turning brown.
Let cool, or if you are anything like me, devour immediately.
Did I mention how great pumpkin seeds are for you? They are low in calorie and saturated fats, while high in magnesium, zinc and antioxidants. And the added protein and fiber can’t hurt either!
So let’s do a recap of why pumpkin seeds are so awesome…
1.) They’re super good for you!
2.) You can make them from home
3.) Reduces the waste when you and your family are carving those pumpkins anyway and
4.) They’re just plain fun! Never miss an opportunity to have some fun with your family!
See what else to do with pumpkins this fall here!