What do you do with all those pumpkins you had around your house for decoration? I am sure most of you do use (I do hope you do because seriously otherwise there would be so much wastage of food !) up the pumpkin flesh. Very simple to cut the pumpkin into 2-4 big pieces and place it in the oven to roast. But I do love to use the seeds too. In fact my kids eagerly wait for me to do that – nothing like freshly toasted pumpkin seeds. Nothing like what you get in the store!
Pumpkin seeds (called Pepitas in spanish) are also an amazing superfood and are nutritional powerhouses packed with so much goodness – zinc, magnesium and omega-3 acids, phytosterols and antioxidants. These seeds are also high in fibre. All of these qualities work to provide the following benefits – boost our immune system and protect our heart1. So next time you feel the hunger pangs, go for some freshly toasted pumpkin seeds!
I have shared the process of roasting a pumpkin to get pumpkin flesh/puree here in my Pumpkin and carrot muffins post. Here I share the detailed steps for toasting the seeds.
- Once you cut up the pumpkin, you can scrape the seeds from the center out and put them in a pot with water. Slowly use your hands to jiggle the seeds away from the flesh. Throw the flesh away and then strain the seeds through a sieve/strainer cloth to get all the water out. Pat dry the seeds using a paper towel.
2. Now place these seeds in a cooking pot with some water and some salt and place on stove to boil. Let boil for about 10 minutes on low (This step is important to cook the seeds from the inside). Turn heat off. Drain the water by using a strainer. pat dry the seeds using paper towels.
3.And then place the seeds on a well-oiled tray (quantity of seeds should be such that tray is not overcrowded and the seeds should be in a single layer). Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt on top. Bake at 350 deg F ( 175 deg C) for about 15-20 minutes or until they are toasted well on both sides.
4. Let cool and transfer to an air tight container. These can stay outside at room temperature for 2-3 weeks. But I guarantee you they won’t last that long 🙂
5. Eat the entire seed – both outer shell and the inside seed.!