The first time I roasted pumpkin seeds, I burned the crap out of them.
It was heart-breaking, especially since I wasn’t convinced it was even worth the effort in the first place. All that seed cleaning and pumpkin de-stringing – I didn’t even get to enjoy the fruits of my labour. Hrmph.
Here is the part that no one told me about: The inner seeds cook much faster than the outer shell. I kept peeking in the oven and everything looked fine on the outside. Little did I know, the inner seeds were burnt to smithereens.
Well, thank goodness I didn’t give up after that first miserable attempt! My life just wouldn’t be complete without roasted pumpkin seeds.
I’m happy to say, the second batch didn’t just work, it blew my mind! The cup of seeds I roasted did not last long between the two of us. Every pass by the kitchen was an excuse to grab a crispy handful off the pan.
Today, I’m sharing my secrets for a fantastic batch of roasted pumpkin seeds. If you’ve ever doubted they were worth the effort or had so-so results, I beg you to try this one last time. Only I know it won’t be the last time, but the start of a life-long obsession. Watch out pumpkins, we’re coming for ya!
How To Roast Pumpkin Seeds:
1. Clean the seeds. The annoying-but-necessary task is that you have to meticulously clean the seeds until there are no signs of pumpkin guts. The best way to do this (that I have discovered from your comments!) is to plunk the seeds + guts into a big bowl of water and use your hands to break it apart. The seeds will float to the top of the water! They clean much faster this way.
Note: Some of you say that sugar pumpkin seeds yield much crispier seeds than carving pumpkins. I used sugar pumpkin seeds and mine were certainly super crispy!
2. Boil for 10 minutes in salt water. Using Elise’s method for inspiration, I added the pumpkin seeds to a medium-sized pot of water along with 1 tsp salt. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes over low-medium heat. Apparently, this method helps make the pumpkin seeds easier to digest and produces a crispy outer shell during roasting. If you are short on time, you can totally skip this step! They will still turn out lovely.
3. Drain the seeds in a colander and dry lightly with a paper towel or tea towel. The seeds will stick to the towel, but just rub them off with your fingers. Don’t worry, they don’t have to be bone dry – just a light pat down.
4. Spread seeds onto a baking sheet and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (I only needed to use about 1/2-1 tsp). Massage oil into seeds and add a generous sprinkle of Herbamare (or fine grain sea salt will do). Try to spread out the seeds as thin as possible with minor overlapping.
5. Roast seeds at 325F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Roast for another 8-10 minutes (if your oven temp is wonky, this bake time could vary a lot!). During the last 5 minutes of roasting, remove a few seeds and crack open to make sure the inner seeds are not burning (you don’t want the inner seed brown). Cool a couple and pop them into your mouth to test. They are ready when the shell is super crispy and easy to bite through. The inner seed should have only a hint of golden tinge to it. They should not be brown.
6. EAT! Remove from oven, add a bit more Herbamare, and dig in! Ah, so good, so good! There is no need to remove the outer shell; it’s quite possibly the best part.
I had no idea I was going to love freshly roasted pumpkin seeds so much. I love how crispy the outer shell is and how fun it is to crunch. They taste a bit like popcorn, but they are much crunchier, filling, and of course packed with nutrition.
Yes, pumpkin seeds are super healthy for you! They are packed with iron, magnesium, fibre, zinc, potassium, healthy fats, protein, and tryptophan (which can boost your mood and help you sleep). Vegans & vegetarians have been using pumpkin seeds for years as a natural source of iron. I think it’s just about my favourite way to get iron, next to Iron Woman Gingerbread Smoothies, of course. Be sure to pair it with Vitamin C to absorb the most iron you can.
7. Share with some very lucky people! (but chose them wisely…)
I promise you’ll never throw the seeds out again.
I want to buy pumpkins just to be able to roast another batch of seeds. And of course, make homemade pumpkin puree. I’m already looking forward to making some different flavour combos – maybe garlic powder, cayenne, rosemary, brown sugar or cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, etc would both be nice to try out? I can’t wait to experiment…many ideas are a-swirlin’ in my…stomach.
Looking for more pumpkin recipes?
All Natural Pumpkin Butter from Scratch (the bomb!!)
What spices would YOU put on your roasted pumpkin seeds?
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