Hey, pumpkin carvers: Stop. Wait. Don’t waste all of those yummy seeds!
Pumpkin and squash seeds are loaded with protein and fiber, and they make a great energy-boosting snack or crunchy addition to many meals. Save these delicious and nutritious seeds from ending up in the compost heap in five easy steps.
Step 1: Soak
Scoop out the seed mass of the squash or pumpkin, and rinse the seeds in a strainer under running water. Don’t worry about getting all of the pulp off, because soaking them for a while will make it easier to rub the pulp off later. Allow the seeds to soak in a bowl of brine (half a teaspoon of kosher salt per cup of water) for a few hours.
Step 2: Rinse and Dry
Rinse the seeds in a strainer again, rubbing them between your fingers to loosen any remaining pulp. Scatter the seeds on a clean towel to dry for a few hours, or until they are dry to the touch.
Step 3: Season
Use whatever sounds yummy. Sweet and savory both work — be creative. First, toss the seeds with a little honey or oil to add flavor and help your seasonings stick. Try these tasty combos:
Sweet: honey, cinnamon, sugar
Spicy: olive oil, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, salt, pepper
Zingy: peanut oil, soy sauce, crumbled seaweed, ground ginger, spicy red chili sauce
Addictive: melted butter, thin slices of garlic, coarse sea salt
Step 4: Roast
Place the seeds in a baking dish and roast at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 to 15 minutes, tossing them around once or twice. They’ll be done when they’re golden, and they’ll become crunchier as they cool.
Step 5: Eat Up!
Try sweet seeds as a topping on yogurt or applesauce, and savory seeds on soups and salads. When eating the roasted seeds as a snack, you can bite off the pointed tip to crack the shell and enjoy the tasty inner seed meat.
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