Roast Some Healthy Pumpkin Seeds

comments (8) October 5th, 2010

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ChrisMcLaughlin Chris McLaughlin, contributor
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Terrific as pumpkin seeds are as a snack, theyre a tasty addition to other dishes, as well.
 
Photo by niseag03 under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.Click To Enlarge

Terrific as pumpkin seeds are as a snack, they're a tasty addition to other dishes, as well.

 

Photo by niseag03 under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.


After you've carved your Jack O' Lanterns for Halloween, don't forget to sift through the pumpkin guts and save the seeds for roasting. Hidden behind the delicious flavor, this simple snack offers some fabulous nutrition. Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. They offer protein, iron, copper, and zinc - which plays a valuable role in prostate health.

Pumpkin seeds also have anti-inflammatory properties which have been linked to reducing inflammatory problems associated with arthritis. And the phytosterols in pumpkin seeds lower cholesterol. Snack without gulit!

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

1. Wash all of the pumpkin guts off the seeds while everything is still wet. Removing dry pumpkin guts from the seeds the next morning is not an easy task. Rinse them off in a colander until they're pulp-free.

2. I let them air-dry and toss them around every once in a while so they don't stick together. Now you can either oil a baking sheet or spray it with a non-stick cooking spray, then spread the seeds out making only one layer of seeds.

3. Some people will sprinkle salt on them now and some will wait until they're done roasting. Do whatever makes you happy. For a variety of seed flavors you can add a bit of vegetable oil to the baking sheet and add just a little toasted sesame oil (use the sesame oil sparingly). They can also be seasoned with pumpkin spices. Or try adding some freshly chopped garlic to a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Again, don't over do any of the seasonings, the idea is to enhance the flavor of the seeds; not mask it.

4. Let the seeds roast for about 15 minutes and then stir them up so all sides are toasted. It'll only be about another 10 minutes before they'll be ready. After the last 10 minutes, you'll want to test a couple to see if they're done by actually sampling them intermittently until they reach the perfect texture for you. *Be sure the seeds aren't too hot before you test them.

As terrific as pumpkin seeds are for snacking, they're also perfect for enjoying with other dishes such as green salads, cereal, and sautéed vegetables.


posted in: roasting pumpkin seeds, healthy pumpkin seeds

Comments (8)

Loosiana writes: Appropri-Quote:

"Lightly roasted, salted, unhulled pumpkin seeds are popular in Greece with the descriptive Italian name, passatempo ('pastime'.)"

You've whetted my appetite with that recipe Chris. I'm going to try growing the pumpkins which produce hull-less pepitas. It's early spring here in Australia, so I have time to order the seed, and construct a mini greenhouse to fend off the dreaded summer frosts.

If anyone else is interested in growing these conveniently-seeded pumpkins next year, they are called "STYRIAN HULL-LESS" and they're available from limited sources; one is www.horizonherbs.com . The pumpkins take about 90 days to maturity, weigh 6 - 15 lb, and are said to be good to eat as well as producing a supply of high-protein pepitas, which are also used for production of pumpkin seed oil.
Posted: 5:35 am on October 9th
ChrisMcLaughlin writes: Loosiana: LOLOL...yeah, the old fashioned, low tech way is the only way I know...BUT I have a feeling that someone will pop on here and let me in on another way which will leave me smacking my forehead! And yeah...I'd stick with eating my own shelled seeds. :D
Posted: 10:06 am on October 7th
Loosiana writes: Thanks Chris! So it has to be done the low-tech way? And if someone offers me a gift of their own pre-hulled roasted pumpkin seeds, I should be very suspicious, right?!
Posted: 10:28 pm on October 6th
ChrisMcLaughlin writes: Loosiana: I shell them just as I do sunflower seeds. I turn the seed so the natural break is vertical to my teeth and crack it; the two sides split apart. They aren't as easy as sunflower seeds, I agree.
Posted: 1:36 am on October 6th
Loosiana writes: But HOW do you shell them? Train a parrot to do it for you??
Posted: 7:25 pm on October 5th
ChrisMcLaughlin writes: CompostJohn: Well, the seeds are roasted while the shells are on, but usually people shell them before they eat them. :D
Posted: 7:06 pm on October 5th
Loosiana writes: I've always hated throwing away the most protein-rich part of the pumpkin (I gnaw through a huge one each month by myself) but I've never been able to figure out HOW to time-effectively hull them! Is there a special technique?

I have found that there is a hull-less pumpkin variety which is used for pepitas, but alas the year-round killer frosts where I live, pretty much rule out trying to grow them here.
Posted: 4:36 pm on October 5th
CompostJohn writes: So you leave the outer coat on? I'm not keen on all that extra roughage... I eat enough of it as it is!
I like to sit and shell dried pumpkin seeds... it is easy and after a while, quite quick, and you end up with just the succulent inners. I put these in my muesli and in nutloaves. The shells are good for your compost.
Posted: 4:22 pm on October 5th
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