Nothing says “fall” like roasted pumpkin seeds. They are both traditional and tasty as well as surprisingly good for you. Recent studies suggest that pumpkin seeds may help lower your chances of getting diabetes or having kidney problems. Pumpkin seeds are also high in many nutrients like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. Wondering how to make sweet, savory pumpkin seeds in your home? It’s easy!
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
No matter your recipe, you’ll need to be sure to do the following to your seeds:
- Wash the seeds thoroughly under cold water. Remove all pulp and strings, which is easiest to do immediately upon removal from the pumpkin.
- Oil a baking sheet (any type of cooking oil works, though some recipes call for specific flavors from oil).
The simplest way to make roasted pumpkin seeds is to just toast and salt them. After doing the above preparations, stir your seeds on the pan to coat them in oil. Any good cooking oil will do the job, though strong-flavored oils like olive should be avoided. Salt liberally and bake at 325°F until they’re nicely browned. It takes about 25 minutes, but you should stir them around halfway through.
Another method is to reduce the enzyme inhibitors in the seeds, which are the reason they can cause upset stomachs in some people. Do this by soaking the seeds in brine (salty water) for about 8 hours to 2 days, depending on how much time you have. If using a recipe that doesn’t require salting, rinse the seeds before proceeding. This works well with the above method for salted roast pumpkin seeds and you can put them directly into the oil without rinsing and skip adding the salt.
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?