If you have never done it, here is how you extract the seeds from a pumpkin. Wash all the innards and remove the seeds from the stringy material. Discard the strings and dry the seeds with towels. Toss the seeds with some oil and maybe some salt. Spread them on a cookie sheet and roast at 325 degrees until they are golden brown, about 25 minutes, depending on your oven. They can be stored in a zip closure bag in the refrigerator.
Or…just buy a package or two at the grocery store.
They are great to snack on. They are rich in antioxidants, iron, zinc and other nutrients. There are 151 calories in an ounce.
Cooking with Pumpkin Seeds
- Salads – They can add texture and interest to that bag of greens you bought from the produce section. They are healthy and lower in carbohydrates than croutons.
- Bread – If you like baking breads, add them to your multi-grain recipe or substitute them for nuts in your banana bread.
- Pesto – Use up your end of the season basil by making pesto. Instead of pine nuts, throw in some pepitas.
- Granola and trail mix – Especially if you prefer to make yours from scratch, adding some pumpkin seeds will give you some different choices. Throw some in with your morning cereal and see if it gives your morning a little more oomph.
- Cookies – Even if you don’t have concerns about nut allergies, they make a nice change of pace from pecans or walnuts.
- Garnishes – Add them as a topping to some squash soups, or any other thicker soups for that matter. Toss them on your cheese plate or charcuterie board.
- Entrees – When breading your chicken, substitute pumpkin seeds (chopped will probably work better) for one part of the bread crumbs. Bake or fry as usual.
With the long days of winter approaching, it is time to think of new crafts for those snow days. Here are some ideas to consider.
- Mosaic – Paint pumpkin seeds in a variety of colors or use nail polish for a sheen. Then glue them onto a canvas or cardboard. For younger children, use edible paints and toppings.
- Crayon Drawing – Have your child draw the basics of a tree and use the seeds for leaves or a house and use the seeds for the shingles. Let imagination take over.
- Decor – Fill a vase or combine with dried apples, raffia, and cinnamon sticks. Glue to a photo frame and insert a picture of the kids at Halloween to send to the grandfolks. Create a garland or wreath.
- Jewelry – Use a needle and wire to make holes in the seeds. Combine about five or so together to form a flower. Use some sparkly touches and complete the earrings. String them onto an elastic band to make an unusual bracelet.
- Tiddly-Winks – Teach your children this fun game. Using different sized pumpkin seeds makes the flip more unpredictable.