Pumpkin seeds make a nutritional snack and are easy to prepare. And why throw away those seeds when you are carving your Halloween masterpiece or making a holiday pie?
Harvesting pumpkin seeds
- Always wash your pumpkin well before cutting it. A pumpkin may look clean but chemicals might have been used when it was grown so wash it in warm soapy water and let dry.
- Carefully cut into your pumpkin. Scoop out the stringy membrane. If your pumpkin sat outside the membrane will be cold. Rinse the seeds until they are free of any membrane matter. This should take a few minutes.
- Pat dry with paper towels
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Put the seeds on a paper towel and let them dry for a few more minutes.
- Spray a baking sheet with butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray or brush with a light coating of vegetable oil. This will stop the seeds from sticking.
- Put the seeds on the baking sheet in a single layer, turning to coat lightly with the spray or the oil. Sprinkle the seeds lightly with salt or a seasoning if you want additional flavor. Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic salt are some possibilities. For a saltier treat, boil the pumpkin seeds in heavily salted water for ten minutes, and then bake them.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven. Cook the seeds for 10 minutes and turn. Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until brown and slightly crisp. Allow to cool before eating.
- Store seeds in an airtight container.
Pumpkin seeds make a healthy snack. They pack well and work well for extra nutrition and energy while hiking and camping. For a change and different taste mix with sunflower seeds.
Note: Pumpkin seeds can be eaten with the outer shell on or off.
It was a tradition at my home to carve the pumpkins and then roast the seeds. We would enjoy the pumpkins glowing in the dark for several days and about a week later enjoy the seeds as a nighttime snack.