It’s pumpkin (and winter squash) season! We had lots of pie pumpkins do well this year (before the squash bugs got prolific), so I’ve been roasting them and freezing the We love to snack on pumpkin seeds at our house. Grant uses them on his salads, the kids just like them plain as snacks, and I love them on soup. BUT I hate prepping them. I always try to talk Grant into it, and he’s usually a good sport. Getting all of that pumpkin gooey-ness off the seeds just seems so monotonous, and it seems like a ton of work for not that many seeds (the pics here are from two pumpkins, and we had eaten all the seeds the day after I made them).
I still don’t like the job, but I have found a few shortcuts that make the job a bit easier. We use this method for all winter squash seeds – butternut and acorn squash seeds are especially delicious.
- Scoop out the seeds, trying to go for the seeds as much as possible, leaving the stringy insides for the compost bin.
- Dump the seeds and their associated goo into a large pot. Add about two-three cups of water to every cup of seeds (enough to cover the seeds by at least an inch – many of the seeds will float) and one tablespoon of salt, and bring pot to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to keep the water at a low boil for about five minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Let the seeds cool, and strain out the seeds*. The water makes it easier to separate the pumpkin goo from the seeds. It’s still a pain, but easier. Try to squeeze out as much water from the seeds as possible. The boiling also pre-cooks the seeds, so that you can roast them at a higher heat, which makes for crunchier, tastier pumpkin seeds.
- Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil on a baking sheet. Spread the seeds on the baking sheet, and mix around to ensure the seeds are coated in the oil. Add your seasonings of choice. I did some garlic, salt, and pepper for these. Some of the ideas we like:
- Cinnamon and honey
- Chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper
- Cayenne pepper and salt (if you like spicy)