With Halloween just over a week away, it’s peak pumpkin-carving season. While some pumpkin artists go minimal with a basic eyes, nose and mouth and others carve out more intricate designs, we all end up with a big pile of scooped-out pumpkin seeds. So it’s no wonder that searches for “cooking pumpkin seeds” are up a whopping 219 percent this week, according to Yahoo!.
So, what should you do with all those leftover pumpkin seeds? You should eat them, of course! Here’s how to roast them, plus new ways to mix them into fall fare.
Prep Your Fresh Pumpkin Seeds
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Separate the seeds from the pulp, then rinse them in a mesh strainer or fine colander. Shake dry, then spread in a single layer on a baking sheet (you may need to use multiple sheets depending on the size of the pumpkin.) Bake for about 30 minutes to dry out the seeds. Remove from the oven and add a few drizzles of olive oil and salt. Keep them basic, or season the seeds to make them sweet or savory. Then, roast for another 20 minutes, or until crisp and lightly brown.
Here are some great seasoning options:
- Cinnamon + sugar
- Parmesan + oregano
- Cayenne pepper + garlic powder
- Garam masala
- Curry powder
- 3 more seasoning ideas from 101 Cookbooks (shown above)
Let cool and keep in an airtight container for up to one week. If you don’t gobble them up immediately (seriously…these things are addictive!), try these creative recipes to use up your seed stash. Opting for faux pumpkins this year? You can make any of these recipes with store-bought roasted, hulled pumpkin seeds (also known as “pepitas.”)
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Most recipes for pumpkin seed brittle called for pre-shelled pumpkin seeds, which is time consuming to do at home. This recipe from Pitch Fork Diaries lets you use your fresh pumpkin seeds as-is to create crisp, salty-sweet brittle.
While you shouldn’t eat your actual jack o’ lantern, you can (and should) cook up fresh pumpkins. Sure, they’re great for pies, but don’t rule out savory options like this hummus recipe from Gumshoe Gastronomy. It gets a double dose of pumpkin from mixed-in fresh puree and roasted seed topping. In a time crunch, you can substitute pre-cooked pumpkin puree (not pie filling.)
Pumpkin Spice Granola
Try pumpkin seeds for breakfast; they add extra crunch to this seasonal take on granola from Pro Bono Baker. It’s flavored with maple syrup and (you guessed it) pumpkin pie spices.
How will you cook with pumpkin seeds this fall? Tell us your favorite recipes.