Did you grow up eating roasted pumpkin seeds on Halloween?
I’ve recently discovered that the best thing about Halloween once you have kids is getting to experience everything you enjoyed about the holiday as a kid yourself all over again. Because let’s face it, Halloween in your 20s is a just an excuse to wear slutty clothes and it’s never as much fun as it sounds…
I have fond memories of carving pumpkins and I was excited that my two-year-old is old enough this year to participate, too. I also have fond memories of snacking on the seeds from the pumpkins I carved growing up and as it turns out, pumpkin seeds are a really healthy snack! Unshelled pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of zinc, selenium and choline, three nutrients that we often don’t get enough of.
But what I especially love about roasting pumpkin seeds is that they’re a blank canvas for introducing your kids to new flavors. We used smoked paprika on these, but some other delicious options would be:
- -Garam masala
- -Chili lime
- -Sweet Curry
- -Old Bay
Of course, you could also go the traditional route and add:
- -Cinnamon and brown sugar
- -Garlic and Parmesan
- -Salt and pepper
And one of my personal favorites from growing up is to swap out the olive oil for bacon grease, which is especially good with smoked paprika! Yum. Listen, I may be a dietitian but it’s only once a year…
To get them perfectly roasted, simmer the seeds in salted water before popping them in the oven. It only takes 10 minutes and it’s definitely worth it for the flavor! Be sure go easy if you add any salt to the exterior of the seeds as they will already be pretty salty.
What’s your favorite way to roast pumpkin seeds?
Perfectly Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Seeds from one large pumpkin
- 3 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tsp desired seasoning such as smoked paprika (optional)
Carve a pumpkin. Take the seeds and "guts" and place them in a large bowl of water.
The seeds will float to the top of the bowl. Skim them off and into a separate bowl. It's fine if some pumpkin guts remain on the seeds.
Add the salt to six cups of water and bring to a boil.
Reduce boiling water to a simmer and add the pumpkin seeds. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the seeds from the heat and carefully drain.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Toss the pumpkin seeds with olive oil and seasonings and distribute evenly across a baking pan.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes, until the seeds just start to become golden brown.
Remove from heat, allow to cool and enjoy.