Pumpkins abound this time of year! Carved or whole, they are everyone’s favorite decorative squash. We like to use them for more than just adorning the doorstep. Each year as we’re carving up our jack-o’-lanterns, we set aside the seeds for toasting.
Loaded with zinc, iron, magnesium and heart-healthy fat, pumpkin seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. Add them to salads for a hearty crunch, toss into granola or trail mix, and use them to dress up homemade breads and pastries.
Tips for Perfectly Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Rinse seeds well to remove any pumpkin pulp and pat dry with a paper towel before toasting.
- Toss with a small amount of oil and a pinch of your favorite spices. For savory pumpkin seeds, try kosher salt, cumin and coriander, or Leslie’s favorite, kosher salt and ground chipotle chile pepper. For sweeter seeds, try cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg or ginger.
- Spread seeds in an even layer on a heavy-duty baking sheet.
- Preheat oven and bake at 300°F on the center rack until they are golden and fragrant, shaking and rotating the pan a few times throughout the baking process for even coloring.
- Seeds can take up to 10 minutes to toast, but check them often and use your nose to alert you when they’re getting close.
- An alternative to baking is toasting seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan and tossing the seeds often to keep them from burning.
- If you don’t eat them right away, store pumpkin seeds in an airtight container.