It seems as though as Halloween nears, all the pumpkins in the supermarkets disappear from the shelves and rematerialize on all of my neighbors’ doorsteps… I must admit, my family does contribute to the mass pumpkin disappearance; however, our pumpkins do not show up on our front steps, but rather on our plates. And my favorite parts of the pumpkin are the seeds! Pumpkin seeds are great for anything: snacking, garnishing, and even cooking with. They are super easy to make and all that is required is a bit of patience. Pumpkin seeds also go by the name of “pepitas”. They are usually flat and have a greenish tint (although some are encased in a thin yellow-beige shell). Pumpkins (and therefore pumpkin seeds) belong to the gourd family, along with squash, cantaloupe, and cucumbers. It’s been said that pumpkin seeds also have a multitude of health benefits, including preventing arteriosclerosis (hardening of arteries). Yummy, healthy, cheap, and easy as pie, can it get any better?
**All About Pumpkin Seeds**
In Season: Pumpkin Seeds
When to Buy: Usually pumpkin seeds come with the pumpkin, so they should be bought in the fall as soon as pumpkins come into season. This is from around September to March.
What to Buy: Choose seeds that have no signs of moisture or insect damage and are not shriveled. If the seeds are firm, then they are probably good.
Prep & Storage: Store pumpkin seeds in an airtight container and put it in the fridge. They can probably last VERY well for about 2 weeks, but may last to be FAIRLY good for as long as 2 months.
How to Cook: This is the easy part! You take the seeds out of your pumpkin, clean them, and let them sit and dry for about a day (they need to be fully dried). Then, you spread them out on a baking sheet, sprinkle some olive oil, salt, and pepper over them and put them in the oven! They should cook at about 170°F for 15-20 minutes. Once they are lightly roasted, you can take them out and enjoy the delicious, crunchy goodness!
Recipe Box: Pumpkin seeds are fantastically versatile! Check out these other recipes.
Spiced Pumpkin Oat Cookies with Pumpkin Seeds
Delicious cookies with a ridiculously fabulous amount of pumpkin. Do it yourself all the way through (from the pumpkin puree to the toasted pumpkin seeds) and enjoy the squashy yumminess!
Pumpkin Seed Cakes
Want something sweet, delicious, AND healthy? Well these are perfect! Aperitif, snack, or just a small meal and you can use these great and easy to make little cakes.
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Sweet, savory, and crunchy all in one – this healthy take on a classic candy snack is sure to be a fast favorite!
Chocolate Bark with Pumpkin Seeds
Chocolate bark is a classic way to incorporate whatever goodies you have lying around &mdash simply swap out the mix-ins for a handful of lightly toasted pumpkin seeds!