Who doesn’t love roasted pumpkin seeds. They are a throw back to childhood — absolutely delicious and quite simple to make. Pumpkin seeds are little powerhouses of magnesium, manganese, copper, protein and zinc. The nutritional benefits are greatest in raw pumpkin seeds, but toasted they still retain their high fiber content and are a healthy source of omega-3 fats.
The trick to making the best, and most consistently perfect, roasted pumpkin seeds, is to clean them well, pre-boil, and dry them before baking. This will give you the most crisp and delicious seeds. The easiest way to get this done is to put the pumpkin seeds in a colander when you are in the process of scraping out your pumpkin, rinse them well and then place in a bowl of water. The seeds should float to the top and you can easily scoop them up and proceed with your prep. It is important to note that the inside of the seeds is where the healthy fats are, so when you cook them, the inside actually cooks faster than the outside.
This is an excellent basic recipe that you can use with any sort of winter squash seeds. Butternut, Acorn, Kaboucha — all the winter squash have tasty seeds that you can toast and add to soups and salads, or just keep to nibble on. You can spice things up by adding flavors to make your pumpkin seeds more sweet or savory.
Perfect Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Pumpkin or Winter Squash seeds cleaned and rinsed
- 1 tbsp good quality olive oil for every cup of seeds
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt for every cup of seeds
- Optional - 1/4 tsp of any of the following - chili powder cayenne pepper, cumin, cinnamon & 1/4 tsp sugar. Toss with seeds during the oil and salt step.
- Preheat oven to 325
- Boil the seeds for 10 minutes in a medium saucepan of boiling water with 1 tsp of salt. Drain well. Not only will this make your seeds more digestible, it will help the outer shell to crisp-up during the baking process. If you simply cant wait, you can skip this step and take the cleaned and dried seeds right to roasting. Still yummy, just not as consistent.
- Place dried seeds in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of oil for every cup of seeds you have. Massage seeds with oil and add 1/2 tsp of salt per cup to the mix. Coat well. Add 1/4 tsp each of selected spices and sugar if you want to flavor your seeds.
- Place seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a non-stick baking mat.
- Bake in pre-heated 350 oven for 20 minutes. Stir and turn seeds. Return to oven and bake for 10 -30 more minutes.
- Remove from oven and taste. Seeds should be evenly browned and golden inside. Add more salt if needed.