Roasted pumpkin seeds is one of the favorite fall traditions for a lot of family, and there are also a number of health benefits to eating pumpkin seeds. Some recent studies have shown that pumpkin seeds can help lower your risk of developing kidney problems and diabetes. They also have high levels of magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and other important nutrients. Plus, they’re easy to make at home!
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds at Home
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Remove the seeds from the pumpkin, and then remove all the pulp from the seeds. Then, wash the seeds in cold water to get off any remaining pumpkin flesh and allow them to dry partially.
3. Use a cooking oil of your choice to coat a baking sheet.
4. Add the seeds to the pan and stir them until they are coated in oil.
5. Add salt to taste. You can also do seasoned pumpkin seeds by adding a variety of spices and seasonings before roasting them.
6. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once about halfway through.
7. Allow to cool. Roasted pumpkin seeds can then be kept in an airtight container for several weeks.
Alternative method that will help cut down on the enzyme inhibitors found in pumpkin seeds that sometimes cause stomach upset.
1. Soak the seeds in salty water for at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.
2. If your recipe does not require salt, rinse seeds thoroughly. If your recipe does require salt, then you can skip that step in the recipe and add seeds to the oil.
Seasoned pumpkin seeds can be easily done as well. Coat them in oil (as above) and add your favorite flavors. Brown sugar and cinnamon (plus nutmeg!) can be a favorite sweet treat. Melted butter instead of oil adds a popcorn flavor. Chili powder or Cajun seasonings can add a lot of kick, Worcestershire sauce can give them a smoky flavor, and soy or teriyaki sauce can be fun as well. Any seasoning you enjoy can be used to make pumpkin seeds taste great after roasting. Go for Italian, French, Asian, Latin, or other flavors for fun!
Any of the above recipes can be cooled and stored in an airtight container, keeping the seeds tasty and fresh for weeks!
Storage of Pumpkin Seeds
Once your seeds are roasted, you’ll want to store them. The seeds will last for weeks in any airtight container (Tupperware, Ziploc, canning jars, etc.). Freezing is another method, though this can soften the seeds if they’re still coated in oils. Most people can expect to get up to two months out of their stored seeds if they’re in an airtight container. Honestly, though, do you think they’ll last that long?
Two interesting resources about roasting pumpkin seeds:
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds by University of Illinois
Don’t Throw Away Those Pumpkin Seeds by University of Missouri
Photo: credit to Flickr/justgrimes
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