Roasting pumpkin seeds is a super fun project your kids are totally gonna love. Here are a couple of ways to do it and 10 easy ideas for using the roasted seeds (if you haven't munched them all, that is).
When you carve your pumpkins, scoop out all the seeds and gunk inside. Here's a tip from our test kitchens: Use an ice cream scoop!
Let the kids squish the gooey “guts” to separate the seeds from the stringy, slimy innards. (We told you kids love this.) How much slime you get off the seeds is a matter of taste... if you like more pumpkin flavor, don't rinse the seeds.
The Microwave Way
Toss the seeds with a little salt. Place in a single layer in a glass pie plate.
Microwave them for about 2 minutes and then stir. Zap them again for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring after each minute until the seeds are lightly browned and crunchy. Keep making batches like this until you use up your seeds.
The Baked Way
If you want to roast seeds the traditional way, here's how. Heat the oven to 300°. Coat the seeds with oil or melted butter (about 1 tablespoon for one cup of seeds). Sprinkle with a little salt. Put the seeds on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and crunchy, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
The seeds will be great when just seasoned with salt, but you can customize the seeds any way you like. Stir in some Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, taco seasoning, curry powder...there are lots of possibilities. Or skip the salt and go sweet by sprinkling the seeds with sugar and pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.
10 fun ways to use roasted pumpkin seeds.
You've got the seeds...now use 'em up with these ideas:
- Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix: Toss together a pumpkin seed snack mix.
- Gorp: Jazz up store-bought trail mix by adding some spicy pumpkin seeds.
- Pumpkin seed parfait: Mix sweet seeds with cereal, then layer with Orange Crème Yoplait® yogurt for a super-easy morning treat.
- Pumpkin popcorn: Toss popped popcorn with roasted pumpkin seeds, a little butter and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
- Top a pie: Make (or buy) a pumpkin pie. Squirt whipped cream on each slice, and sprinkle with sweetened pumpkin seeds.
- Seed salad: Toss a green salad with ranch dressing and pumpkin seeds instead of croutons.
- Snack size: Pack up toasted pumpkin seeds in little resealable plastic bags or containers for an easy snack for lunch boxes and sports bags.
- Veggie topper: Add crunch to cooked veggies with some seeds. (Might even tempt kids to take a second helping.)
- Sweet treat: Add a sweet-seed crunch on top of ice cream or pudding.
- Cookie designs: Bake a quick batch of cookies. Let kids frost them, then make designs on top with sweet seeds.