In just 3 easy steps, you can have roasted, crunchy pumpkin seeds in 15 minutes. Here’s the simple ‘scoop.’
It’s Healthy Kitchen Hacks Wednesday – the day we share our favorite time-saving kitchen tricks and cooking shortcuts to help you make healthy and delicious meals. And this is one of our most popular autumn posts – updated!
HOW TO COOK PUMPKIN SEEDS IN 15 MINUTES
Here are the 3 easy steps for how to cook pumpkin seeds in 15 minutes:
1. Scoop seeds out of the pumpkin and straight into a 1 cup measuring cup.
2. Add oil: 1 teaspoon to 1 cup seeds.
3. Transfer to a parchment-paper-lined (or greased) baking sheet, sprinkle with kosher salt and roast for 15 minutes in a preheated 400-degree oven.
I’ve seen recipes with up to 11 steps…and bake times of up to an hour. But the above 3 steps will work great for pumpkin seeds, butternut squash seeds and just about any winter squash seeds.
Now while my instructions for how to cook pumpkin seeds were only 3 steps, the notes are longer. They are not essential to the recipe – but may be helpful:
1. Don’t wash the seeds – For years, I dutifully washed off the pumpkin “guts” (as my husband calls the stringy pulp.) But then, one time I didn’t. And wow, the bits of pumpkin pulp added a chewy texture, like fruit leather (now my kids feel lucky to get a few bits of sweet pumpkin ‘fruit leather’!)
2. Skip the soak water – If the seeds are fresh from the pumpkin, they are plump enough.
3. Forget drying overnight, and even patting seeds dry with a towel – Even seeds that are still slimy from being newly harvested from inside the pumpkin cavity will absorb enough oil to toast and to make the salt stick.
4. Oven time and temp may vary – The 15 minutes at 400-degrees produced crunchy, toasty and barely golden seeds on my oven’s convection setting. I also tested seeds on regular (non-convection setting) and the seeds got really golden (not burnt – but close) at 375-degrees after 20 minutes. So WATCH CAREFULLY. Also, my seeds were small-ish from a smaller pumpkin, so if your seeds are larger, you may roast a little longer.
5. Stirring isn’t necessary – Since you are blasting the seeds with high heat for a short time, they get crunchy toasty throughout without stirring.
6. Spice them up – I usually just add salt because we’re at the beginning of the pumpkin season and my kids, husband and I eat a pumpkin-full of seeds in one sitting. But of course, you could add spices (check out Deanna’s recipe for Sugar & Spice Butternut Squash Seeds!)
And lastly, a bit about the nutrition super-stardom of the seeds. Pumpkin seeds are rich in:
Good (monounsaturated) fatty acids – Great for heart health
Vitamin E – A potent antioxidant that’s harder to get in fruits and veggies because it’s fat-soluble
B-vitamins – To help in metabolism and possibly reduce anxiety
Protein – About 8 grams in a 1/4-cup serving
Amino acids tryptophan and glutamate – Which may help with healthy sleep
Iron, copper, manganese, potassium, zinc, calcium and selenium – Essential minerals that are also hard to find in fruits and veggies
Fiber – Obviously, with all those edible shells around the green pumpkin pepita seed in the center!
Have you roasted pumpkin seeds yet this year? Plain salt or fancy flavored?