Remember earlier this week, when I told you not to throw out those spaghetti squash seeds? I’m here to show you what you can do with them. Have you ever wanted to know how to roast pumpkin seeds? I’ll show you! This tutorial will work with squash seeds as well as pumpkin seeds. They are in the same plant family and are almost identical in appearance and in taste.
Pumpkin and Squash Seeds are Healthy!
According to Dr. Mercola, pumpkin seeds:
- are high in magnesium
- are high in zinc
- are a source of omega-3 fatty acids
- may even improve insulin regulation in diabetics
- are a rich source of the amino acid trytophan
- full of healthy fats and fiber
- are even anti-inflammatory
Here’s another article about the phenomenal benefits of pumpkin seeds.
Plus, they just taste great. I’ve eaten them raw from the store for most of my life, but roasted pumpkin/squash seeds take the cake. The hard shell softens quite a bit during the roasting process, making them easier to eat and enjoy. And if you soak them beforehand, you make them way more assimilable for your body.
I’d like to add that if you bought a pumpkin or squash, then these seeds come free of charge – don’t let them go to waste. Frugal is fun, and yummy!
Before You Roast
When you start with those seeds, freshly scraped from the middle of your veggie, undoubtedly you have a slimy, pulpy mess. That’s okay. Grab a colander and head to the sink. Rinse the sliminess and pulp away from your seeds. I know, it’s a tough job but it’ll be worth it. Toss the pulp and keep the seeds. Also, it’s okay if you don’t get all the pulp out, you’re just working to remove the majority of it.
See there, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Now on to the rest of the tutorial.
How to Roast Pumpkin & Squash Seeds – Two Ways
There are two ways you can roast your seeds. The first method involves soaking them in a salt water solution first, which will take a little longer. The second method is not as nutritious but is quicker. I’ve detailed them both here so you can choose what fits your time frame/health situation best.
The Soaking Method
I bet you’re wondering why you would want to soak your seeds.
It turns out, nuts, beans, seeds, and grains naturally contain a substance called phytic acid. Phytic acid blocks the absorption of phosphorus from the food, and binds with important minerals like calcium in our bodies and sweeps them out, resulting in mineral deficiencies. This is why traditional cultures would soak their nuts, grains, seeds, and beans in salt water or an acidic medium before preparing. (Learn more about phytic acid here.) Soaking these types of food is the healthier option, especially if you are going to be consuming large quantities.
Here are the steps for the soaking method for pumpkin/squash seeds:
- Place your rinsed seeds in a glass bowl and cover with filtered water, by about one inch or so. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to be exact about this.)
- Add about 1 tablespoon of sea salt per 1 cup of seeds.
- Allow to sit in a warm place overnight, or up to 24 hours, covered with a towel.
- Drain the water from the seeds in a colander and then spread them around on a cookie sheet or glass pan to dry out a little. You can let them dry as little or as long as you like, up to 24 hours. Now you can start with the directions for the non-soaking method.
The Non-Soaking Method
If you don’t want to or don’t have time to soak them, then you can skip the previous directions and begin here, you rebel you. (I am often too impatient for the soaking method myself. 😉 ) This recipe is for 1 cup of seeds, adjust accordingly.
- Turn your oven to 350. In a bowl, combine your seeds, either soaked or unsoaked, with 1/2 tablespoon bacon grease. (Learn how to strain your bacon grease here.) Stir with a spoon to distribute.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (unless you like things saltier, then add more), 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper. I guess that’d equal about a pinch. You don’t have to be exact with the measurements, just sprinkle away until you’re satisfied. 😉 But don’t go overboard with the cayenne, it does add a bite! 🙂
- Spread the seeds out evenly on a baking/cookie sheet – try not to let them overlap. You can cover the sheet with parchment paper if you don’t feel like washing later. Heh.
- Place in your preheated 350 degree oven and roast for 40 minutes. Check near the end – if your seeds are smaller they might be done earlier.
- Allow to cool and transfer to an airtight container.
Even though there are a lot of steps, this is a really simple job. I’m pretty sure you’ll never look at a squash or pumpkin the same again!
Doesn’t this just make autumn that much better? Alas – you can buy pumpkin seeds any time of the year and roast ’em. Happy seed-eating!
Pin: How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
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