Roasted pumpkin seeds are really good for you and super tasty! Follow this simple recipe for a great fall-time treat!
Carving Jack-O-Lanterns is an annual tradition in our family. Usually the night before Halloween we get together and each of our kids carves up their own pumpkin. Even the teenagers still seem to enjoy doing it. We are not the most artistic bunch but we have fun making decorations for a spooky front porch display.
When you finish disemboweling your pumpkin you’re left with a big pile of seeds and pulp that used to go straight into the garbage around here. A few years back I found a recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds and decided to give it a try. Mrs. Stoney was very skeptical at first but now she has become a huge fan. In fact, we grow (and buy) extra pumpkins just so we could have the seeds for roasting.
There are all kinds of health benefits to roasted pumpkin seeds.
Some studies that show roasted pumpkin seeds help promote prostate health in men. Pumpkin seeds are high in the minerals magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus, and are a good source of iron, copper, protein, and zinc. The seeds also contain Omega 3 fats and may also have some anti-inflammatory properties. Simply search the web for more on the health benefits of roasted pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin seeds have become a daily part of our healthy eating plan. Both the Omega 3’s and the magnesium are good for headaches. One member of our family deals with some pretty severe headaches on a monthly basis and since adding pumpkin seeds to our diet (along with other high magnesium foods) those headaches have become much more manageable.
Roasted pumpkin seeds couldn’t be easier to make.
First, you need to clean off all the gunk. This is really the biggest part of this whole project. I start by rinsing them in a colander and picking out all the really big pieces of pulp. I have found if you pour them in a bowl of warm water the seeds will float at the top, the pulp sinks midway down and you can skim the seeds off the top with a slotted spoon.
We then let them dry on a towel overnight.
Roasting the Pumpkin Seeds
Next simply spread the seeds out on a cookie sheet and generously salt. Bake the seeds at 350 for 20 minutes. Check every 5 minutes, stir and add more salt to taste. Check the seeds for done-ness by taking a few out, letting them cool and taste. If the inside is dry then they are done. Don’t be surprised if a few of the seeds “pop” just like popcorn. We had quite a few pop this year and burn on the bottom of the oven.
Try different flavors, garlic, cheese, tex-mex, think about popcorn flavors, if they have a popcorn flavor for it, you can use the same for pumpkin seeds. Store the seeds you don’t eat in an airtight container or freeze.
One warning, these things are addictive. If you’re like us you will find yourself planting more pumpkins than you could ever use, just so you have more seeds. After Halloween, we keep our uncut pumpkins in cold storage in the basement. We use the pumpkins for cooking or as a winter treat for the chickens and harvest the seeds for more roasted pumpkin seeds.
If you’re looking for more information about pumpkins I’ve found a great site dedicated to the art of pumpkin growing (and eating). The link is https://www.pumpkinnook.com. They have tons of great info on how to grow and use pumpkin.
We really enjoy roasted pumpkin seeds too. We eat up the pumpkins and the seeds and all that remains is the skin and the stem end! One of my new all time favorite recipes for pumpkins is “pumpkin stuffed with everything good”. Here’s a link to a page on my site that has that recipe (it is the second one down on the page). Absolutely delicious!
I used to occasionally roast the seeds, but hated cleaning them. One day I decided that we *liked* cooked pumpkin, so why bother to rinse it off? Worse case scenario would be happy hens, right?
So, I didn’t rinse, just tossed with oil and roasted. The result was amazingly delicious. Now I never rinse, just pick out the worst of the strings. If you try this, let me know what you think!