Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What do I do with all these seeds?!!

Okay, so you've butchered your pumpkins and you have all these seeds.  Now what?

Home made roasted pumpkin seeds, that's what!  They're delicious, nutritious, and highly addictive.  They are loaded with minerals, fiber, and protein.  They can be enjoyed as a savory or a sweet snack.  And they don't even have to be sugar pumpkin seeds.  Seeds from any type of pumpkin or hard winter squash will work!  I mix in acorn squash seeds, butternut squash seeds, whatever I have on hand.  Roasted pumpkin seeds can be used to top salads, mixed into cereal, incorporated into home made trail mix, or just eaten by the handful. 

To see how they get from here:

to crunchy and delicious, click "read more"!

Step 1:  Remove seeds from the pumpkins and/or squash and separate from the strings.  I find that the most efficient way to separate seeds from strings is to use my hands rather than scooping them out.  If you reach in with your fingers you can grab handfuls of seeds and kind of filter out most of the strings.  Pick through to get them pretty cleain.

Optional step:  If you'd like, rinse off the seeds in a sink or bowl full of water.  Swish them around a bit and the remnants of the strings should come off fairly easily.  I never do this because I kind of like the roasty pumpkiny brown bits.

Step 2:  Spread them out evenly in one layer on a clean "flour sack" towel and leave them to dry overnight.  The truth is they're going to stick to the towel, that's why I highly suggest a flour sack towel.  If you used paper towels you'd never get the papery bits off the seeds.  If you use a terry towel they could get all linty.

Step 3:  The next day after they've dried, preheat your oven to 325 F. and prepare a shallow baking tray or cookie sheet by covering the bottom with aluminum foil and giving it a light coating of cooking spray.  Then drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil or melted butter on the baking tray.  Remove the dried seeds from the towel using your fingertips or a bench scraper (hold the towel taut with one hand, scrape with the other), and place them on the baking tray.  Stir the seeds around with your hands until they are thoroughly coated with the oil. 

Step 4:  You can now season the seeds however you'd like.  I usually just give them a light coating of sea salt, but you can also season them with chili powder, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, or whatever else strikes your fancy.  I haven't tried it yet, but I'm thinking maybe a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of cocoa powder might be nice...hmm.

Step 5:  Place the tray in your preheated oven for about 30 to 40 minutes, until they look toasty and are nice and crispy.  Stir them around a bit every 10 to 15 minutes.  Sample a few to see if they're to your liking, but be careful because they will be very hot.  When they're done, they should look something like this:

Allow to cool a bit and enjoy!


  1. I have burned many a batch that I didn't babysit toward the end. Seems there's a narrow margin between done and overdone that can be crossed quickly.

  2. I will have to try making these pumpkin seeds! I remember watching my brother make them as a kid, but I haven't tried it myself. This looks very easy and tasty! I'll let you know how it goes.

  3. Becky - you did a wonderful job with this. I'm so very proud of you and I never thought to sweeten the seeds, but I will give that a try next time. They look yummy and I would be happy to be a taste-tester. Tell you hubby to bring some in to work!!!!

  4. Becky -- very interesting. I plan to try some of these ideas. Very well done!

  5. @Anon - Yes, definitely seeds and nuts can tend to do that. I usually do the seeds when I'm done with everything else, while I'm just cleaning up the kitchen, to make it easy to remember to stir and check them.