If you've bought a pumpkin for Halloween, or to make pumpkin soup, it's definitely worth making oven roast pumpkin seeds. They are tasty, packed with nutrition, and deserve to be saved from the compost heap.
All you need for this simple recipe are raw pumpkin seeds, and a little olive oil. A smallish, round orange pumpkin gave me approximately a cup of seeds. You can use different kinds of pumpkin, as all of the seeds are edible.
Preparing pumpkin seeds for roasting
Cutting up a pumpkin can be challenging, so if you need help, this video has some useful tips. It's easy to scoop out the seeds from the flesh, but you will also need to clean away the stringy bits. Just remove them by hand, and give the seeds a rinse under the tap to remove the remainder. Once your pumpkin seeds are clean, it's really important to let them dry thoroughly. Ideally, leave them spread out on a cloth or kitchen paper overnight.
Do you need to soak pumpkin seeds before roasting?
For this recipe, I experimented with roasting both soaked and unsoaked pumpkin seeds. For me, the unsoaked seeds were a clear winner. I think that was partly because they are easier to dry and so they went crisper in the oven. The pumpkin seeds that were soaked ended up chewier, even after cooking for much longer.
What is the best way to cook pumpkin seeds?
For the purposes of this recipe, I tried roasting some of the pumpkin seeds in the oven, and toasting some in a pan on the stovetop. The difference wasn't huge, but the oven roast pumpkin seeds had a slightly better texture. However, if you're in a hurry, or don't want to heat up the oven, then pan roasted pumpkin seeds are a close second.
How long to roast pumpkin seeds
This will vary, so the important thing is to keep a close eye on the seeds, as they can burn quite easily. My medium sized pumpkin seeds were very dry when they went into the oven, and took just 10 minutes to turn golden brown. However, if your seeds are much bigger, or still slightly damp, they could up to 30 minutes to roast.
Seasonings for oven roast pumpkin seeds
I prefer to roast pumpkin seeds unseasoned. That way we can enjoy them either sweet or savoury. Often, they'll be sprinkled on soup or salad, but I also enjoy roast pumpkin seeds with healthy bircher muesli for breakfast. They also make a delicious snack, maybe with a little sale. Or try melting a teaspoon each of honey and coconut oil, and adding half a cup of pumpkin seeds along with half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Toss them together, and you'll have a healthier but equally delicious version of cinnamon sugar pumpkin seeds.
Are pumpkin seeds heathy?
Tiny though they are, pumpkin seeds are very nutritious. Unshelled pumpkin seeds are a great source of fibre, which benefits your digestion and heart health. (The green pumpkin seeds that you can buy are usually shelled - they do contain some fibre, but much lower amounts). Pumpkin seeds are also high in important minerals such as zinc, magnesium and iron. They also contain a number of antioxidants which can help to reduce inflammation. See here for more info about the health benefits of pumpkin seeds.
Oven Roast Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds cleaned and dried as above
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- Toss the pumpkin seeds in the olive oil so they are evenly coated.
- Spread the seeds out on a tray, and roast at 180 degrees (160 fan). Check after 10 minutes, the seeds are ready when they are starting to turn golden brown. If you need to roast them for longer, keep an eye on them, as they will burn easily.
- Leave the seeds to cool and store in an airtight container.
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only