I almost had a heart attack when I made roasted pumpkin seeds for the first time. The reason will be revealed later, but I’ve heard many people say it’s wasteful to dump the seeds after carving pumpkins for Halloween. Instead, roast those little pepitas (an alternate name for pumpkin seeds). Well, okay!
- Pumpkin seeds
- Garam masala (optional)
- Cinnamon and sugar (optional)
After spooning the insides of the pumpkin out, separate the pumpkin meat and strings from the seeds. Wash the seeds to get rid of the gooey pumpkin stuff. It helps to use a strainer.
Then, bring a pot of water to boil with some salt. I personally don’t like to add too much salt to my food (chips are another story), so I only added 1 tbsp to 6 cups of water for 3 cups of pumpkin seeds. Add the seeds and when it reboils, turn it down and simmer for about 10 minutes. When it’s done, strain the pumpkin seeds in a colander.
In a bowl, add a bit of oil so that the seeds are lightly covered. If you want to add some flavouring (see optional ingredients), this would be the time. Mix it so that the flavour is evenly distributed. Take a cookie sheet and spread the pumpkin seeds onto a thin layer, avoiding overlap so that they can roast evenly. Place it into a preheated oven and cook it for about 20-25 minutes on 350º, turning them periodically so that they don’t burn.
This is where the almost-heart attack part came about. Even though I read multiple recipes around the internet about roasting pumpkin seeds, not one of them warned me about this! If you leave the pumpkin seeds in the oven too long (also a good way to tell when they are done), the seeds will start to jump around like popcorn. If this happens, turn off the heat and let the oven cool a bit before removing the cookie sheets. The last thing you want is hot pumpkin seeds flying at you!
Once the seeds have cooled down, you can reap your rewards. Some like to eat pumpkin seeds with the shell on, but I find it gets chewy and gritty so I go into hamster mode and chew around the edge of the shell to get into the insides. Even though I made three different batches, I personally enjoy the plain version best. Have you ever tried roasting pumpkin seeds before? 🙂