When I decided to start eating more seasonally, the first seasonal food I incorporated was roasted pumpkin seeds saved from our carved Halloween pumpkin. I had them so why let them go to waste. Before I learned how to roast raw pumpkin seeds, I must admit I was so nervous I was going to burn them to a crisp. Little did I know it would be so easy and actually quite hard to let them shrivel to a crisp.
Fast forward a few years and now I’m buying small pumpkins when they make their first appearance in my local grocery store and buy a few for good measure when I see the pile dwindle as October comes near an end. In my house, they don’t last more than one day and if they do it’s because I hid them. Not even kidding. I literally have to hide the jar because no one can help themselves and always grab a few as they pass by it. Everyone in the family goes bonkers for them.
Even my 2 year old. He was recovering from a sore throat and not still not eating well … I tried so many variations of soups or softer foods so it wouldn’t feel scratchy … go figure the one food he was all over were my newly roasted pumpkin seeds.
He was so adorable when he would come by the table as they were cooling down, reach up and get away with a good handful.
Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
There’s a good reason my youngest went after pumpkin seeds while feeling under the weather. They are packed with nutrients. While they don’t have anyone specific nutrient in high doses, pumpkin seeds are known for the fact that they have a wide variety of antioxidants and minerals. There’s a little bit of everything in there from many types of vitamin E (there are 8 different kinds of vitamin E by the way 😉 ), phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and copper. They are a decent source of zinc and iron.
Plus they are antiviral and anti-microbial … a perfect food to reach for if you’re fighting something off.
And that’s why I really did want him to have as many pumpkin seeds as he wanted! I love it when I catch my kiddos following their body’s cues.
How to Roast Raw Pumpkin Seeds
If you’ve ever wondered how to make roasted pumpkin seeds, it’s pretty easy. Literally, it’s only 5 steps when you think about it … de-seed, wash, rinse, season, and bake
And the best part is that this is one recipe you’re not stuck making alone. First, you can delegate to daddy to deseed the pumpkins. Second, the kids can help too. Placing the seeds and the stringy in water and have them pull the seeds apart is pretty fun. Depending on their sensory preferences, they might not want to get their hands dirty and that’s okay too. Get them to use a tool instead or skip the water.
There are so many seasoning combinations:
Olive oil, sea salt, and paprika
Olive oil, sea salt, and a splash of cumin
Olive oil, sea salt, and onion powder
Olive oil, sea salt, and garlic powder
For more flavour ideas see these 20 ways to season your pumpkin seeds post.
If you are saving the seeds from your carved pumpkin, you might not want to go back to scoop out the pumpkin flesh after it’s been out all night. But I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be going back to buy a small pumpkin to get another batch of these roasted seeds. After you de-seed the pumpkin, roast it and make healthy pumpkin muffins.
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
- 2 small organic pumpkin or your Halloween carved pumpkin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp paprika
If saving the seeds from your carving pumpkin, scoop them out in a bowl. Don’t worry about the stringies, we will get those out next.
If using a smaller pumpkin, make a straight cut across the pumpkin. Cut in quarters. Scrape the seeds and all the stringies into a bowl. You can use the pumpkin quarters to make pumpkin puree.
Preheat the over to 350 degrees Farenheight and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the seeds from the strings and place them in another bowl to give them a rinse.
Place the seeds on paper towel or on a kitchen towel and pat them dry. This will give them a nice crisp from the roasting process.
Place seeds on the baking sheet. Add the oil and paprika and using your hands mix the seeds with the seasoning until each seed is coated.
Place in the oven for 20 to 27 minutes. It will depend on how big and thick they are and on your oven. They are done when they won’t be chewy when you eat them.