Before you throw away those pumpkin seeds you carved out of your Jack-O-Lantern this year, think twice!! There is good dietary benefit in those seeds, not to mention a yummy snack even the kids will love. Here’s how to prepare and cook your pumpkin seeds.
Prepping the Seeds
First, after you have scooped your pumpkin, put the seeds in a glass bowl. Next, separate the seeds from all the stringing pumpkin meat. You’ll need to do this fairly quickly because once you’ve let them sit and they’ve gotten too dry, they will be harder to clean.
Using a cold-water rinse, finish taking off what is left of the stringy meat (there will be some little bits left more than likely) off the seeds. Place a strainer in the sink so you don’t lose all that pumpkin goop in your sink drain.
Once your pumpkin seeds are completely clean, put them on a waxed paper cookie sheet to dry. You’ll leave them to dry overnight. Sorry, you can’t eat them until tomorrow.
Optional: If you like your seeds salty, you may want to let them sit in a bowl of salt water overnight. Be careful though and don’t over salt the water. Remove from bowl of water and dry as stated above.
Now that your pumpkin seeds are prepared, let’s get to the actual cooking of them. Here are both a microwave and oven baked recipe for you to choose from. Note: Preparation is the same for both of the following recipes.
Microwave Pumpkin Seed Recipe
Place salted butter in a microwavable rectangular baking dish and heat for about 30 seconds. Place seeds into pan and toss through the melted butter. Spread the seeds out evenly into one layer on the bottom of the dish. Microwave on high for about 8 minutes or until seeds are a light golden color. Make sure you stir the seeds every couple of minutes while in the microwave to prevent burning.
Oven Baked Pumpkin Seed Recipe
Spray your seeds with butter spray. Cook for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Watch for them to be lightly brown. When they are done, take them out and season with your favorite seasonings. Some popular seasonings include salt and garlic. Let them completely cool before enjoying.
Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are not the only seeds that can be eaten this way. The seeds from butternut and acorn squash can also be cooked just like pumpkin seeds. Give them a try too.
You can store any leftovers of your pumpkin seeds in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 3 months. If you choose to refrigerate them, they will last for about a year in an air tight container.
Baked pumpkin seeds provide a great source of dietary fiber along with a nutty flavor. So, instead of popping that bag of popcorn tonight, grab your favorite Halloween movie, sit back with your toasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy.