Pumpkin seeds are not only delicious but also nutritious. They are a rich source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. You may have carved pumpkins for Halloween or Thanksgiving, but did you know that you can also snack on the seeds? In this article, we will show you how to prep pumpkin seeds so that you can enjoy a healthy and tasty snack. Whether you like them roasted, salted, or spiced, we’ve got you covered! No more throwing away those pumpkin seeds, let’s get started!
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Prep Pumpkin Seeds
Step 1: Scoop Out the Seeds
The first step in prepping pumpkin seeds is to separate them from the pumpkin flesh. Cut open the pumpkin with a sharp knife, and use a spoon or your hands to scoop out the seeds. Make sure to remove as much flesh as possible. When all of the seeds are removed, discard the pumpkin remains or save them for making pumpkin puree.
Step 2: Clean and Rinse the Seeds
Once you have separated the seeds from the flesh, rinse them thoroughly in a colander under cold running water. Use your fingers to remove any remaining pumpkin bits or strings. Drain well and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Step 3: Boil the Seeds
Boiling pumpkin seeds before roasting will make them crispy and easy to digest. Fill a pot with water, add salt and bring it to a boil. Add the seeds and let them boil for about 10 minutes. Drain the seeds and spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Step 4: Season the Seeds
Now, it’s time to spice up your pumpkin seeds. You can choose from a variety of seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, or cinnamon. You can also use a combination of spices to create your own unique flavor. Spray the seeds with cooking spray or toss them with a tablespoon of oil, and sprinkle with your desired seasoning, making sure to coat the seeds evenly.
Step 5: Roast the Seeds
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Roast the seeds for 10-15 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy. Stir the seeds every 5 minutes to ensure that they roast evenly. Keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn. Once they are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool before enjoying your delicious pumpkin seed snack.
Tips for Prepping and Storing Pumpkin Seeds
Tips for Prepping Pumpkin Seeds
- Use fresh pumpkin seeds: The fresher the seeds, the better they will taste. Try to use pumpkin seeds within a week of harvesting or buying them.
- Don’t oversalt: Be careful not to oversalt your pumpkin seeds. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s on there.
- Experiment with seasonings: There are many different flavor combinations you can try. Experiment with different spices, herbs, and even sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.
- Don’t discard the nutrient-rich pumpkin flesh: You can use the leftover pumpkin flesh to make pumpkin puree, soup, or pie. It’s a great way to reduce waste and get more nutrients.
Tips for Storing Pumpkin Seeds
- Store in an airtight container: Once your pumpkin seeds are roasted and cooled, store them in an airtight container in a cool and dry place, like your pantry or fridge.
- Use within a month: Roasted pumpkin seeds can last up to a month if stored properly. So, enjoy them as a healthy snack or salad topping, or use them in your favorite recipes.
- Avoid using plastic bags: Plastic bags can trap moisture, which can cause the seeds to spoil faster. It is better to use glass or metal containers for storage.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
Not only are pumpkin seeds delicious, but they are also loaded with nutrients that can have a positive impact on your health. Here are some of the benefits of eating pumpkin seeds:
|Rich in protein||Pumpkin seeds are a great source of plant-based protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues.|
|High in fiber||Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of fiber, which can promote digestive health and help you feel full for longer periods.|
|Good source of healthy fats||Pumpkin seeds contain healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats, which can help lower your risk of heart disease.|
|Loaded with minerals||Pumpkin seeds are rich in minerals like magnesium, zinc, and potassium, which play a vital role in maintaining good health.|
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q. Can I eat pumpkin seeds without cooking them?
- Q. How do I know when pumpkin seeds are done roasting?
- Q. How long do roasted pumpkin seeds last?
- Q. Can I freeze pumpkin seeds?
- Q. Can I season pumpkin seeds with sweet flavors?
A. Yes, you can eat pumpkin seeds raw, but they will not be as crunchy as roasted seeds. Also, raw pumpkin seeds may contain harmful bacteria like salmonella, so it’s better to roast them before eating.
A. When pumpkin seeds turn golden brown and make a popping sound, they are ready to come out of the oven.
A. Roasted pumpkin seeds can last up to a month if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
A. Yes, you can freeze pumpkin seeds for up to six months.
A. Yes, you can use honey, cinnamon, or other sweeteners to season your pumpkin seeds.
Now that you know how to prep pumpkin seeds, you can create your own delicious and healthy snack. Remember to follow the step-by-step guide and experiment with different seasonings to create your own unique flavor. You can also store your roasted pumpkin seeds for up to a month and use them as a topping for salads, soups, or enjoy them as a snack. So, don’t throw away those pumpkin seeds the next time you carve a pumpkin, enjoy a nutritious and delicious snack that is easy to make at home.
- Pumpkin Seed Nutrition. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2021, from https://www.eatthis.com/pumpkin-seed-nutrition/
- Pumpkin Seed Roasting Tips. (2021, September 22). Retrieved October 19, 2021, from https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-roast-pumpkin-seeds-1388437
- Pumpkin Seeds. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/pumpkin-seeds