Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
As fall is in full swing now, there will be plenty of pumpkins to be carved, and pumpkin puree to be made for delicious recipes this season. Meaning there are also pumpkin seeds to be roasted!
Roasting pumpkin seeds is the perfect way to reduce food waste and end up with a healthy snack. Instead of throwing out the ‘guts’ of the pumpkin, save the seeds to roast them.
Pumpkin seeds are also referred to as pepitas, and can be used in everything from granola, bread, trail mix, toppings for soups, chilis, salads, and oatmeal, to just plain roasted and tossed back as a snack.
Pumpkin seeds pack a nutritious punch, and are loaded with fiber, protein, magnesium, zinc, iron, and healthy fats.
I have found the best way to separate the seeds from the stringy parts is to use a large strainer in the sink. Spray or run water over the strainer and spread the seeds out in back and forth motions to loosen up any connected strings. For larger chunks pull the seeds off and discard the fibrous strands. This will leave you with clean pumpkin sees, and virtually no ‘guts’ will be left.
The seeds should dry for several hours or overnight. I spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet, and let them dry. This will remove excess water content, and make the end result a more crunchy roasted pumpkin seed!
You may have noticed that these pumpkin seeds look very different from the little green pepitas you might find in your local grocery store. This is because most commercially sold pumpkin seeds have the outer hull removed. The hull is the larger white outer coat there to protect the seed. In homemade roasted pumpkin seeds, there is still the smaller, green seed within the hull. They are the same, and from the same source, just one version has the hull removed.
Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Provides 3 g protein, 3 g healthy fats (mono and polyunsaturated), 3 g fiber, 11% DV magnesium, 11% DV zinc, and 5.5% DV iron for 70 calories.
*Sodium is dependent upon the amount used. To calculate this, take the amount of salt you used and divide by the number of servings you end up with (this will depend on the amount of seeds recovered from your pumpkin)
Pinch of salt: 400 mg
1/2 teaspoon: 1000 mg
*Shelled pepitas from the store, without the white hull, will have different nutrition information so check the nutrition facts label.
This again is dependent upon the size of your pumpkin. I got my pie pumpkin at the farmers market for $1. Pumpkins used for carving are typically more expensive. But in my opinion, the pumpkin seeds are a bonus to whatever you are using the pumpkin for, so in my book they are pretty much free!