How to Save Pumpkin Seeds to Eat
Pumpkin season is upon us and we love making all things pumpkin. While pumpkin soup, pumpkin pies, and pumpkin spice lattes may be the stars of the season, don’t forget about those pumpkin seeds. These crunchy and nutty morsels are packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, making them a fantastic addition to your fall snacks or meals.
Here are a variety of ways on how to save pumpkin seeds for eating, ensuring you make the most of your pumpkin harvest.
Tools You’ll Need
- Large pumpkin
- Sharp knife
- Large metal spoon
- Baking sheet
- Paper towels
How to Save Pumpkin Seeds
- Start with Fresh Pumpkins:
The first step to saving pumpkin seeds for eating is to start with fresh pumpkins. Choose the best pumpkins from your pumpkin patch or local grocery store. Look for mature pumpkins with a deep orange color, as they tend to have larger seeds and better flavor.
- Harvest Pumpkin Seeds:
Once you have your pumpkins, it’s time to extract the seeds. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin – cut around the top of the stem. This is where you’ll access the pumpkin guts. Reach in and scoop out the stringy pulp and seeds with a strong metal spoon. Don’t worry about getting every seed, just be thorough to get as many seeds as possible. Put the seed and pulp in a large bowl.
- Clean the Seeds:
To clean the seeds, place them in a large bowl of water. You need to separate the pulp from the seeds. Do this by swishing them around to separate the seeds from any remaining stringy pulp. Put the seeds into a colander and give them a good rinse in cold running water. Use your hands to remove any stubborn bits of pulp.
- Dry the Seeds:
Spread the cleaned seeds out on a clean kitchen towel or a dry paper towel or clean dish towel in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Allow them to air dry for a few hours or overnight. This step ensures that the seeds are completely dry, which is crucial for their long-term storage.
Roasting Pumpkin Seeds to Eat
- Roasting pumpkin seeds is perhaps the easiest and tastiest way to enjoy them. Preheat your oven to a low heat (around 275 degrees – 300° degrees) and spread the dry seeds on a baking sheet in a thin layer. Drizzle them with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and add your favorite seasonings such as cayenne pepper or chili powder for some extra kick.
- Roast the seeds in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. They’re ready when they turn golden brown and have a delightful nutty aroma. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.
- Once your pumpkin seeds are golden brown, remove them from the oven and let them cool on a cooling rack. It’s essential to ensure they are entirely cool before storing them to avoid trapping moisture. When they reach room temperature, transfer them to an airtight container for future use.
To get the best flavor and crisp from the pumpkin seeds, stir the seeds every five minutes in the oven.
Long Shelf Life: Save and Store
Properly stored, roasted pumpkin seeds can last for several months in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. This means you can enjoy the taste of pumpkin season long after it’s over!
Experiment With Different Flavors
If you want to get creative with your pumpkin seeds, there are plenty of ways to flavor them. Try coating them in maple syrup for a sweet and crunchy topping for salads or desserts. Alternatively, experiment with Worcestershire sauce and garlic for a savory twist. The possibilities are endless.
Growing Your Own Pumpkin Seeds
If you’re a gardening enthusiast, consider saving seeds from your pumpkin plants for the next year. To do this,
- select seeds from true-breeding open-pollinated plants (non-hybrids).
- Let the pumpkin mature on the vine until it’s fully ripe.
- Harvest the seeds, clean and dry them as previously described, and store them in a cool, dry place until the next spring.
Before planting, you can perform a germination test by placing a few seeds in a damp paper towel inside a plastic bag. If they sprout, you have viable seeds ready for planting.
Store Pumpkin seeds
The best way to store baked pumpkin seeds is to place them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag to prevent moisture and air from getting in. Store them in a cool, dry place like a pantry or cupboard to maintain their freshness. For extended shelf life, consider vacuum-sealing the seeds or storing them in the freezer, where they can last for several months without losing their crispiness.
Saving pumpkin seeds for eating is not only a great way to make good use of your bumper crop but also a way to enjoy a healthy and tasty snack throughout the year. Whether you prefer them roasted with spices, sweetened with maple syrup, or used to grow new plants in your garden, pumpkin seeds offer numerous possibilities.
So, don’t let those seeds go to waste – put these tips into action and savor the flavors of pumpkin season well into the future.
- Pumpkin Lush
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip
- Pumpkin Dump Cake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip
- Cool Whip Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Sheet Cake
- The Best Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
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