With Halloween right around the corner and Thanksgiving hot on its heels, it's likely you'll have plenty of pumpkin seeds on your hands very soon! Here are 14 clever ways to eat them in all sorts of ways. Bonus tip: You can supplement these pumpkin seed recipes with winter squash seeds, including butternut squash, acorn, and spaghetti squash if that's what's on hand.
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc—the mineral found in lots of natural cold and flu remedies, so they' provide a much-needed immune boost this time of year. In fact, pumpkin seeds have been shown to have anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. They're also a great source of vitamin E, which is good for skin and hair.
It's perfectly OK to eat the white outer hull of the pumpkin seeds, though some people don't like the texture. In fact, some studies have shown that you get more vitamin E by eating the entire seed.
If you're preparing pumpkin seeds harvested from your own pumpkins, pick most of the gooey-stringy stuff off, then rinse them well in a colander. Spread them out on a baking sheet in a single layer and let them dry overnight before making any of these pumpkin seed recipes. Note: many recipes for pumpkin seeds call for them to be roasted first, so you may want to do that in advance as well.
14 Ways To Eat Pumpkin Seeds
- Roast them. Put clean, rinsed seeds in a saucepan with 2 cups of water and 2 T of salt for each cup of seeds. Bring to a boil, then drain and toss with about a tablespoon of olive oil and whatever spices you like before roasting at 400 degrees for 20–25 minutes.
- Make pesto. This recipe uses pumpkin seeds and cilantro!
- Add them to your favorite granola.
- Top oatmeal with them.
- Garnish soups, like this gorgeous pumpkin curry stew.
- Add them to salads, like this roasted pumpkin salad.
- Make a delicious mole-like sauce for stacked enchiladas.
- Put them on top of your favorite fall muffins and breads.
- Add them to rice pudding.
- Make pumpkin seed brittle.
- Add them to guacamole. Yes, really!
- Make salad dressing by processing pumpkin seeds with fresh garlic, parsley and cilantro leaves, and then adding olive oil and lemon juice to taste.
- Add some to your favorite cookie recipe.
- You can even grind them up and add them to burgers and meatballs (real meat or meatless) for a unique nutty taste!
Related on Organic Authority: