While pumpkin spiced confections may be all the rage, pumpkin seeds are a timeless enjoyment that brings back childhood memories. There’s nothing like a handful of warm, crunchy pumpkin seeds on a crisp autumn day. Mastering how to roast pumpkin seeds is simply a must.
Though it may seem easier to buy pre-roasted pumpkin seeds, homemade pumpkin seeds are worth the effort due to their deliciousness. It’s so rewarding, saves money, and generates less waste if you are using the rest of the pumpkin for carving or pie. Double the batch and you’ll have enough to last a couple weeks. Well, that might not actually be possible since they are so tasty but you can try at least!
This recipe uses a secret method to ensure savory, crispy pumpkin seeds. By boiling pumpkin seeds before roasting, the seeds will be digested easier, roast better, and be salted to perfection. This method only takes an extra ten minutes and will have you wondering why you didn’t try it sooner.
Pumpkin Seeds Benefits
Homemade roasted pumpkin seeds are a guilt-free treat since they are full of health benefits. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which have benefits to the skin, hair, and nails. The healthy fat has also been linked to improving artery, cholesterol, and brain health.
Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, protein, and iron. It is believed that you can receive more zinc by eating the whole pumpkin seed including the shell. Directly beneath the shell is a layer which tends to be rich in the mineral. Since the seeds have been boiled, eating the shell won’t make pumpkin seeds harder to digest.
You can also roast butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and acorn squash seeds. Simply follow the same steps as below. If the seeds are smaller than that of pumpkin seeds, then you will want to roast them for a shorter amount of time. You’ll want to make sure that the inside isn’t burning. First, try halving the time to ten minutes, try a seed, and go from there. If not crispy yet, roast for longer.
Sugar pie pumpkins tend to produce the crispiest seeds so try using one for this pumpkin seed recipe. Plus, you can roast sugar pie pumpkins and use the flesh for delicious (what else?) pumpkin pie!
Cleaning Pumpkin Seeds
Cleaning pumpkin seeds may seem daunting but with a few tips and tricks, it can be a breeze. Grab a cutting board, large bowl, fine mesh strainer, and pot to get your seeds ready to roast!
To start, cut open your pumpkin. Remove the seeds from the pulp by scraping the interior. Try to only place the seeds in your bowl but if some pulp gets in, that’s okay since it’ll be removed later.
Fill the bowl of seeds with water. The pumpkin seeds should float on top. Swish the bowl around to loosen the seeds from any remaining pulp. Let settle for about a minute. Using a slotted spoon, skim the pumpkin seeds from the bowl and transfer to a fine mesh strainer. Then, rinse the seeds really well and detach any leftover pulp.
Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add the pumpkin seeds. Boil for ten minutes. Drain into the fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water. You’ll need to dry the seeds, which you’ll do next. You can hasten the process by placing the mesh strainer in the warm pot that was used to boil the water since its heat will help evaporate the moisture.
Transfer the seeds to a clean tea towel or between paper towels. Pat dry until no moisture remains. This step is crucial as it will ensure crispy pumpkin seeds.
How Long To Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. Add the cleaned and dried pumpkin seeds to the baking sheet. Drizzle with two teaspoons olive oil. Sprinkle one teaspoon of sea salt. Mix well and then spread into a flat, even layer.
Bake for 20 minutes, tossing the pumpkin seeds halfway through. Once timer, goes off, test a seed. If it’s not crispy enough, return to the oven for an additional two minutes then check again. Once crispy, let cool for five minutes.
Pumpkin seeds can be stored in an airtight container for two weeks in the pantry or up to one month in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
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Images via Karissa Bowers