After you’ve carved your jack-o-lantern for Halloween, it’s time to roast perfect pumpkin seeds! Use this pumpkin seed recipe to make this salty and crunchy snack, that’s healthy too!
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One of our Halloween traditions has always been to roast the pumpkin seeds that come out of the pumpkins that we carve. For as long as I can remember, we always did this as kids and then I started and continued the tradition with my own kids. In our house, there is no way you carve a pumpkin without also roasting the pumpkin seeds afterward.
How To Clean Your Pumpkin
The first step to getting perfect pumpkin seeds is cleaning your pumpkin!
- Set up a work area: We usually lay down newspaper or an old plastic tablecloth to keep our area clean.
- Cut off a lid to your pumpkin: Cut a 2-3″ circle radius around the stem to do this.
- Clean out the inside of your pumpkin: This is where you get all the seeds from. You can use a metal spoon or an ice cream scooper to scrape and scoop the insides, but we think a pumpkin scoop works better. Want the very best option? If you have a drill, then the “Pumpkin Gutter” attachment is awesome — makes the job super easy and less messy.
Best Tips for Perfect Pumpkin Seeds
Making your own roasted pumpkin seeds is really easy, but there are three steps that are most important:
#1. Clean your pumpkin seeds well: You really want to wash them well and discard of any and all pumpkin fibers. Over the years, I’ve had a time or two when I didn’t clean the seeds well enough and they really don’t turn out as well. So, grab your colander and clean them…and then clean them again.
#2. Boil pumpkin seeds before roasting: If you are short on time, you could skip this step, but we highly recommend that you boil your pumpkin seeds before roasting them. We have more details below about why.
#3. Keep a watch on them when they are baking: I’m really bad at getting sidetracked, so I set my kitchen timer for 10 minutes. This way, it will alert me and I can go in and move the pumpkin seeds around on the baking sheet. I repeat this every 10 minutes until they are done. I’m very serious about using the timer — there have been times when I didn’t do it and sure enough, I let them burn.
Why Boil Pumpkin Seeds Before Roasting?
There are a couple reasons why we recommend that you boil pumpkin seeds before roasting. Boiling before roasting pumpkin seeds helps to cook the insides of your pumpkin seeds so when you do roast them, you will get perfect crunchy pumpkins seeds. Boiling will ensure that the insides are cooked.
Also, roasted pumpkin seeds are full of nutrients, but they also contain phytic acid, which is naturally found in nuts, whole grains, and seeds. Phytic acid can prevent the absorption of some nutrients, like iron, magnesium, and calcium. By boiling the seeds before roasting, this them removes most of the phytic acid that they contain helping you to get even more nutrition out of them!
How To Eat Pumpkin Seeds
If you are new to roasting pumpkin seeds, you might be wondering just how to eat them. If they are nicely roasted, I like to eat them whole, as does most of my family. If you wish, you can also eat them how you would eat a sunflower seed, by cracking the outer shell open slightly with your teeth, eating the seed on the inside, and discarding the outer shell.
How to Make Perfect Pumpkin Seeds
Here is the full recipe and instructions for roasting perfect pumpkin seeds – ready for you to print!
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Thank you to our contributor, Leah Wood, for this recipe & photos!