Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – 3 Flavors

It’s here!  Pumpkin season!!  Whether you’re carving jack-o’-lanterns or making Pumpkin-Coconut Soup, Pumpkin Dip, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Pudding, Pumpkin Bars or Pumpkin Pie, don’t forget to save your seeds!  I know in my family, we’d cut open the top of the pumpkin and scoop out the pumpkin innards, seeds and all, into a black garbage bag, never to be seen again.  Well, for all those years we were throwing away some of nature’s most nutritious seeds; the pumpkin seeds!

Pumpkin seeds are packed with a great supply of vitamins, minerals and healthy fatty acids.  Considered one of nature’s nutritional powerhouses, just 1/4 cup provides a daily dose of phosphorous, magnesium, tryptophan, vitamin K, iron, copper, zinc and healthy fatty acids.  They are also a good protein and fiber source!

Pumpkin seeds can be eaten raw or roasted, shelled or intact.  Simply remove the seeds from the pumpkin, wipe them off and leave them to dry overnight on a baking sheet (I line mine with parchment paper to help absorb moisture).  Once dry, you can then choose whether to use them raw or to roast them.  To keep raw, simply store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a month or two.  If you choose to roast (3 great recipes below!), remember we want to keep the center of the seed shy from heat to keep all of the nutrients intact.  Thus, we don’t want to bake the seeds until they are brown — this means they’ve had too much heat and the nutritional value has plummeted, in fact the fats are probably rancid and no longer good for us.  Instead, we want to bake at a low temperature for a short period of time to bake flavor in to the shell only.

And leave on your shells!  Pumpkin seeds with shells have more flavor and a crunchier texture than those without shells.  And the shells contain more fiber to keep your digestive system functioning properly.

Pumpkin seeds can be scattered on salads, used to make hummus, baked in bread or just munched as a snack food.  Some recipes call for “pepitas” which are hulled green pumpkin seeds.  If pepitas are what you prefer, learn how to shell your own seeds here.

On to the recipes!

Simple Salted Pumpkin Seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds, cleaned and dried 24 hrs
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, mix seeds with olive oil and coat well.  Spread evenly on baking sheet.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.  Remove from oven, let cool on baking sheet.  Enjoy.

Curried Pumpkin Seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds, cleaned and dried 24 hrs
1 free-range egg white
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, mix pumpkin seeds with all 3 ingredients.  Toss well to coat.  Using a strainer, drain off any excess egg white.  Spread evenly over a baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Carefully taste one seed — it will be hot, let cool on a separate plate for a minute first.  Taste for seasoning, you  may prefer more curry or sea salt.  Add more to your taste.  Cool and enjoy.

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds, cleaned and dried 24 hrs
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp organic Tabasco sauce (more/less to taste)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, mix pumpkin seeds with olive oil and Tabasco sauce.  Toss well to coat.  Spread evenly over a baking sheet.  In a small bowl, combine dried spices. Sprinkle spices over the pumpkin seeds.  Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.  Cool and enjoy.

Have a happy Halloween everyone!

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Written by Elise Schwartz
Elise Schwartz

Elise has been living a sugar-free natural lifestyle since 2008, after discovering her PCOS, infertility, and inability to lose weight were caused by toxicity in her food and daily life. She became a certified nutrition and body detox coach, and provides consultations to clients across the world. By living the principles she teaches, Elise proudly welcomed her son, Austin, into the world in 2011. She and her husband, Dr. Dave, own and operate a natural health clinic, Triad Health Center, in Greensboro, NC.

2 Comments

  1. I thought we were supposed to only eat RAW seeds and nuts? Can we eat roasted sunflower seeds also then?

  2. GREAT questions, Jaxs. One I addressed in a post prior to this one, however can’t remember exactly which one. When I find it I’ll link back! But, basically you want to avoid store bought roasted nuts at all times. These are generally over heated which makes the oils of the nut turn rancid/toxic to our bodies’ use. You can however roast nuts at home, briefly. You want to use a low heat setting and only warm the outside of the nut. If the nut warms all the way to the inside, the oils begin to change chemically. There’s definitely a learning curve to it. Start practicing with raw almonds — 300 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Sunflower seeds you can do in a dry skillet on your stove top. Low heat, stirring often.

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