Since moving to the States it’s been so much fun to learn about all of the various American holiday traditions… and there are just a ton at this time of year! While lots of these customs now seem to be making their way across the pond, they weren’t really around when I was growing up, so it’s a real treat to see my daughter get to enjoy them all.
A favorite for the Fall season is definitely our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. Fall and pumpkins just seem to go hand in hand, don’t they?! One of the things we love to do with the pumpkins we pick out for Halloween carving is to roast the delicious seeds inside. It’s actually really easy to do.
Not only do homemade roasted pumpkin seeds make for a delicious snack, but they’re also super good for you! According to the USDA, the seeds are packed full of essential nutrients such as magnesium, potassium and zinc, and are a great source of protein. What’s not to love?!
Here are some simple instructions for removing and preparing the seeds.
Begin by removing the top of the pumpkin. An easy way to get started is to make a small incision using a paring knife and then you can continue to cut around the stem with a bread knife (any decent sized knife will do).
Next, scoop all of the seeds out of the pumpkin and dump them into a colander. Try to discard as much of the pulp as possible while doing this. The easiest way to get the seeds out is to just dig in with your hands which can be a fun (but messy!) activity to do with the kids.
We enlisted the help of our daughter, who must be the only toddler on the planet who hates getting mucky and insisted on using the pumpkin carving tool instead 🙂
Rinse any remaining pulp from the seeds under some cold running water and dry them using a kitchen towel. Once they’re dry, transfer them to a bowl and pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Coat the seeds with olive oil, and then add kosher salt and pepper to taste. If you like, you can go ahead and roast the seeds now, and they’ll be delicious as is, however, we usually add some additional seasoning with a custom spice blend for some added kick. With pumpkin seeds you can go sweet or savory, it really doesn’t matter!
For lots of great ideas to flavor and season your roasted pumpkin seeds, click here.
Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle on the seeds in a single layer. Don’t let them pile on top of each other, or the bottom seeds will burn and the seeds in the middle will steam.
Pop the sheet into the oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes, until the seeds are crispy and easy to bite into. Watch them closely because they can turn from done to burnt in the blink of an eye (especially if you make sweet seeds). Serve warm or at room temperature.
And there you have it! Easy and delicious pumpkin seeds… a perfect Fall treat.
We typically serve ours as a standalone snack, but they can also be added to granola and trail mix, used as a salad topping or as an ingredient in cookies and other baked items. I’d love to hear how you prepare and serve pumpkin seeds… leave a comment below!