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Perfect Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I love roasted pumpkin seeds. It’s more than the toasty flavor and crunch; it’s the feeling that I’m getting something for free.

Yet for years, my roasted seeds fell flat, despite painstakingly separating the seeds from their stringy, clingy orange strands and carefully monitoring the roasting time. Though golden in hue, the seeds were typically chewy and tough, and were marked by a distinctly off, raw flavor (my Arkansas father-in-law would call this a “wang.”) I ate them anyway (the free factor again), but not without a lot of griping (and chewing).

Then a mentor (let’s call her Martha…) clued me in: the seeds need to be dried–completely–before being roasted. Hurrah! However…she recommended (commanded) leaving the seeds out to dry for 3 to 4 days. Boo. I don’t have a staff (save for my super-duper pumpkin scooper, below), so I improvised.

Hmm, I have an oven…ovens can dry things…why not have off several DAYS of of preparation (I’m just not that committed to snacks) and try the oven instead.

Oh, the wonder of modern appliances. An hour in the oven at 250F dries the seeds of all excess moisture; from there, simply crank up the heat to 350F, toss the seeds with a bit of oil (it does not take much) and a pinch of fine sea salt, and roast for 11 to 14 minutes. Ta-da! Perfect roasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy.

Nick took his job very seriously…

I’ve read some recipes for roasted pumpkin seeds that recommend separating out the seeds as you scoop. Right. Just get them out, and dump in a bowl. Call a friend, put the phone on speaker, and sort away; the seeds will be sorted before you know it.
Real food is so darn pretty…
Store the seeds in an airtight container; you can toss them into granola (after the granola is baked) or trail mix, or chop them up and use them in any number of recipes that typically call for nuts.

Perfect Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Preheat oven to 250F
Large rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment paper.
1 cup pumpkin seeds (about 1 medium pumpkin)
1 tsp vegetable oil (or nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray)
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1. Dry out seeds: Remove any extra bits of flesh still clinging to the seeds. Rinse seeds well in a colander, then pat dry with a clean dish towel. Spread seeds in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.
2. Roast seeds: Remove seeds from oven and increase oven temperature to 350F. Toss seeds with the oil (or spray with cooking spray); sprinkle with salt, tossing to combine. Roast 11-14 minutes until light golden brown.
3. Transfer seeds to a dinner plate and cool completely. Store cooled seeds in an airtight container.

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Wednesday 28th of October 2015

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is THE roasted pumpkin seed recipe. I am printing it out so I don't have to search for it again next year three days before Halloween. After three batches of tough, miserable, get-stuck-in-your-throat pumpkin seeds (using highly-rated recipes!) I finally have the CRUNCH I was looking for. Thanks a bunch :)


Wednesday 11th of November 2015

Yay! I am so glad this worked out, Jill! I know exactly what you mean by the stick-in-your-throat seeds--bleah!

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Sunday 11th of March 2012

I Love making pumpkin seeds. A couple of tips I have is to cut the bottom out of the pumpkin. Most of the seeds are attached to the bottom. (When you are making jack-o-lanterns, this allows you to put the candle on a flat surface too.) Have a large mixing bowl with salty water handy and just put all the pulp and seeds into the brine. The seeds will brine and the pulp mostly falls away in the water. I lightly salt them and bake at 350 for 30 min. turning every so often. YUM!!

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