I’m of the belief that if you can use it, you shouldn’t throw it away. I try not to be wasteful with anything, including scraps of food.
With some fruits and vegetables, you’ll want to scoop out the seeds and get rid of them unless you’re going to plant them in your garden, simply because they’re inedible or bitter.
With pumpkins, you can use those seeds to create a tasty, toasted snack.
Cooking pumpkin seeds is a popular way to spend autumn days, and these make for wonderful snacks on their own or as part of a larger mix.
I like to add them to raisins, granola, and nuts to make trail mix or just a healthy snack to have in between meals.
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of nutrition, and they offer lots of fiber, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin K.
Roasting pumpkin seeds doesn’t detract from their nutritional value, and they are an excellent alternative to sugary, sweet snacks that are bad for your teeth.
You can get the pumpkin seeds on your own by scooping them out of fresh pumpkins, but if you want the seeds alone, you can usually buy them uncooked and raw at whole food grocery stores.
Check your local farmers market and green grocers to find pumpkin seeds that you can roast yourself. Making them on your own is so rewarding, it’s simple to do, and you can control what goes into them.
If you buy roasted pumpkin seeds in the grocery, they may have preservatives, salt, and other additives that you might not want.
How to Cook Pumpkin Seeds
Before you start baking pumpkin seeds, I want to cover quickly how to prepare them. You want to make sure your pumpkin seeds are cleaned first.
There could be some debris, like dirt, grass, or bug parts that may be mixed in with the pumpkin seeds, depending on how they’re harvested and packaged.
So, to clean up the pumpkin seeds, place them into a sieve and run cold water over them. You’re mainly trying to get rid of the pulp on the pumpkin seeds, as that will make for cleaner seeds.
As you wash the seeds, brush the pulp off with your fingers. It doesn’t all have to be removed, because after you cook the seeds, that pulp will fall away.
No matter which cooking method you’re using, this quick little way of how to prepare pumpkin seeds for eating is going to be your first step.
I want to share with you first how to boil pumpkin seeds.
- Begin by placing enough water in a large saucepan to cover your seeds. Add salt to the water and cook it on high until it is boiling.
- Then, add your clean seeds into the water and allow them to boil on high heat for about 8 minutes. How long they need to cook will depend on how many seeds you’re boiling at once.
- Once they’re done cooking, you can place them onto a towel to drain.
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
After seeds have been boiled, you’ll want to roast them. Before you stick them in the oven, make sure you season them a little bit. You can toss them with oil (including coconut, olive, and vegetable oil), and then add some salt, pepper, or whatever other seasonings you like.
Then, put your pumpkin seeds on a large baking sheet and roast them for about 9 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Celsius).
As you can see, this method for how to bake pumpkin seeds is really simple, but you do want to make sure you clean and boil your seeds first for best results.
Why Boil Pumpkin Seeds?
In most all the cooking articles and recipes for how to make roasted pumpkin seeds, you’re going to find instructions that tell you to boil the seeds first.
Why is this step necessary? There are few reasons why boiling is always recommended as the first step. As you may guess, the seeds won’t be roasted and cooked all the way through unless they’ve been boiled ahead of time.
Boiling them first ensures that they cook as they ought to and that you get that crunchy texture that you expect from toasted pumpkin seeds.
The second reason you boil your pumpkin seeds before roasting them is to bring out their nutritional value. By boiling them initially, you get rid of a lot of the phytic acid.
Removing that acid from the seeds ensures a great nutritional profile.
How Long to Bake Pumpkin Seeds?
The temperature you used to bake your pumpkin seeds at and the cooking duration definitely matter. You want to ensure that seeds are properly toasted so that they’re crunchy and crispy when they come out of the oven.
You should know how to toast pumpkin seeds at the proper temperature and for the right amount of time.
350 degrees Fahrenheit is a good temperature for them to cook fairly quickly. If you increase the temperature, you risk overcooking them and burning your seeds.
There’s no need to speed that process up, as it only takes about 8 to 10 minutes to cook them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
A lower temperature isn’t ideal either, as that’s going to extend the cooking time and it doesn’t give you any added benefits. Your seeds will retain all the nutritional value they’re supposed to have and will be imbued with the right texture when cooking at the standard 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Store Pumpkin Seeds Once Cooked
So, you’ve cooked your pumpkin seeds; now what is the next step? They don’t need to store in the fridge to stay tasty and ready to eat, but you should put them into an airtight container.
They can stay in that container at room temperature for about 3 days and still be fresh. After that, you probably don’t want to hang on to them for any longer.