How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds - Also Known as Pepitas
A Tasty Fall Treat
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I think it's the weather that time of year and the fact that I get to dress up in an undressy manner.
But it also has to do with all the savory dishes and treats available during that season.
One of my favorite is the warm, toasty and healthy munch and crunch of roasted pumpkin seeds.
Roasting is soooo easy and the great smell and taste just screams "It's Fall!"
Pumpkin seeds, known in Spanish as "pepitas", are the perfect snack throughout the fall season. They are easy to whip up using store bought ingredients or collecting youro wn right from the pumpkin.
Collecting and roasting them is a great learning experience for kids and an easy way to get the most from your pumpkin carving endeavors.
You can keep them plain, with just a bit of salt to draw out the flavor, or you can add some real spice to them using your own seasonings or use pre-mixed seasonings.
Equipment you will need
Here is the basic equipment you need to get started:
- Set of metal spoons
- Mixing bowl and a colander
- Cloth kitchen towels or paper towels
- Small mixing bowel to mix any ingredients for roasting
- Whisk to mix seasonings
- Baking sheet
- Serving bowl
The lip on a baking sheet makes it perfect for handling small items in the oven like seeds and nuts. The lip keeps all ingredients inside the sheet and makes cleanup easier.
Most of the ingredients you select will depend upon what flavor you want:
To make flavors sitck to the seeds
You will need a vegetable oil, olive oil or melted butter.
For flavoring start with:
Salt is your basic ingredient--use finally ground sea salt for the best flavor.
Choose a Flavor palette
Season with cinnamon for a real pumpkin pie type taste or sage to add more variety and a savory type taste.
Or, just season with salt.
Scrape the inside of the pumpkin
You can actually use any squash for seed roasting.
You can use what you collect or raw ones bought from the store. Store bought have the added advantage of not being slimy. However, you should always wash raw, store bought seeds just like you do the ones you collect yourself.
If you are collecting your own: Cut a large round opening in the top of the pumpkin and lift the "lid" off to reach the guts of the pumpkin. You can also collect seeds during the pumpkin carving process. Use the edge of a metal spoon to scrape the interior of the pumpkin to release them. The spoon size you need will vary according to the size of the pumpkin---the larger the pumpkin, the bigger the spoon needs to be--there is more interior to scrape. Metal spoons scrape better than plastic spoons.
Try several different sizes of spoon to see which one garners the most results. In some cases you can reach inside and pull out seeds by hand--it's a slimy, messy process but the hand may be better equipped to grasp the stringy pumpkin meat than any tool.
Have a colander ready to dump the seeds into --- place a plate or bowl under the colander to catch any liquid.
Buy Raw Pumpkin Seeds
What are your favorite seeds to snack on?
Wash and dry the seeds
I use a colander to rinse the slimey stringy innards from the nuggets and then place the clean seeds on paper towels or cotton kitchen towels to pat them dry. Once they are clean and dry, they are ready to be seasoned.
Mix the Seasoning
Seasoning for a cup and a half of seeds:
In a small mixing bowl, place 2 teaspoons of olive oil or melted butter, a pinch of salt and the other seasonings you wish to use.
Try a sprinkle of cinnamon or a pinch of sage or a garlic flavored salt instead of regular or sea salt.
Whisk the ingredients together and then toss the seeds into the bowl and mix until the seeds are covered.
Try seasoning with a favorite family flavor. Think taco seasoning, fajita mix, sloppy joes.
Directions for Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
Basic Roasting Recipe
Here is the basic way to roast your seeds:
- Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Scatter the seasoned seeds as a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the pre-heated oven and roast for 40-45 minutes or until brown.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven, slide the contents into a bowl and allow them to cool before serving.