pumpkin seeds
Photo by Jessica Spengler
By Melissa Page – 

Pumpkin season is here. Now that you’ve carved the pumpkin, what do you do with all the seeds?

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are flat, dark green seeds inside the cavity of pumpkins. They are packed with protein, fiber, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and the vitamins B and E. They make wonderful food for the fall table – from classic pocket snacks to soups, and even desserts.

So before tossing those lovely and nutritious edible pumpkin seeds into the compost heap, here are some tasty options you can do with them.

Roast “em

Roasted pepitas are very popular during Halloween. You can either eat them directly as a snack or sprinkle them on your soup, your salad, or your smoothie!

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups pumpkin seeds (an average sized pumpkin gives you a cup to a cup and a half of morsels)

2 teaspoons olive oil

Spices to taste (salt, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ground ginger, dried herbs)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Scoop the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin and rinse in a colander. Remove pulp and rinse again. Blot the seeds dry. Toss the seeds into a bowl with olive oil, salt and other seasonings. Spread the pumpkin seeds evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.

 

Make pesto

Replace the boring seeds of your pesto with pumpkin seeds! This paste can be on your sandwich, salad, or other vegetables.

 

Ingredients:

2 cups green pumpkin seeds

6 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 cloves garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method:

Roast seeds (see above recipe). After roasting the seeds, set them aside to cool. Combine the seeds with water, lemon juice, and 4 tablespoons of oil. Mix until forming a coarse paste then season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill for delicious taste.

Make candy

Instead of the candy-fest this October, you can make sweet brittles out of pumpkin seeds.

pumpkin candy

 

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

½ cup water

â…› teaspoon salt

¾ green pumpkin seeds

Parchment paper

Candy thermometer

 

Method:

On a heavy saucepan, bring sugar, water, and salt to boil over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook, without stirring, until mixture is amber and candy thermometer registers 280 degrees. Wash down sugar crystals from the side of pan with a pastry brush. Stir in pumpkin seeds, cook for about two minutes until the mixture reaches 300 degrees. Pour onto baking sheet and let cool completely. Break into pieces.

 

Save “em for next spring

Instead of buying pumpkins on the sidewalk or grocery store for the next pumpkin season, plant them on your garden. Rinse the seeds and let them dry on a cookie sheet for a few weeks on a cool, dry place. Store them in an airtight bag and a paper towel to absorb moisture. These pepitas will be ready for your garden on late May or early June.

Conclusion

Aside from making your taste buds happy and your belly satisfied, converting pumpkin seeds into tasty treats is a great way of helping the environment. Little acts such as these can prevent food waste and promote sustainability in the food industry in general.

Now you know better than throwing out those pumpkin seeds.

About the Author: 

Melissa Page is a professional writer and a health buff. Aside from writing and hitting the gym, she enjoys cooking and making arts and crafts.

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