In our house we have a tradition, every Halloween, when the kids carve their pumpkins they BEG me to roast pumpkin seeds for them. I whine about how long it takes, but eventually oblige them. Suffice it to say, I have been working on creating the recipe for the perfect roasted pumpkin seeds over the past 12 years. I have to admit that there have been some definite misses (as in I burned the absolute crap out of them the first few times I tried to make them). But with those misses have come some lessons learned.
I’ll let you in on a secret…. the perfect roasted pumpkin seeds is not in the baking, instead it’s in the steps you take before the baking. Baking them slowly, and paying attention to them while they bake is also an important step, but the other steps can also make or break your seeds.
Here are my 5 easy steps to the perfect roasted pumpkin seeds:
1. Wash your seeds well
You really want to wash your pumpkin seeds well and discard of any and all pumpkin fibres. Over the years, there’s been a time or two when I got lazy and didn’t clean the seeds well enough, trust me, they really don’t turn out as well. So, grab your colander and clean them…and then clean them again and again.
2. Soak your seeds
This step allows any remaining pumpkin on the seeds to sink and the seeds to float, it’s like magic!
3. Boil your seeds for 10 minutes in salt water.
In my opinion, this is what helps make the pumpkin seeds easier to digest and produces the crispy outer shell during roasting. This also helps cook the insides of your pumpkin seeds so when you go to roast them you will get perfect pumpkins seeds crunch insuring the insides are cooked. Boiling with salt allows the salt to permeate your seeds but if you are short on time, you can skip this step and they will still turn out delicious.
4. Season your seeds
My preference is to season my seeds with olive oil, sea salt and a touch of garlic using McCormick’s Sea Salt Garlic Grinder, but there are many other ways you can season your seeds, such as butter and salt, Cayenne pepper and maple sugar, or Parmesan, basil and oregano, or Dill, garlic powder and salt. Feel free to experiment with any spices you desire.
5. Watch your Seeds while you bake them
I’m really bad at getting sidetracked, so I set my kitchen timer for 10 minutes. This way, it will alert me and I can go in and move the pumpkin seeds around on the baking sheet. I repeat this every 8-10 minutes until they are done. I’m very serious about using the timer — there have been times when I didn’t do it and sure enough, I let them burn.
- Seeds from 2 large pumpkins
- ½ teaspoon McCormick's Garlic Sea Salt
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- Dash of salt
- Scrape out and remove seeds from your pumpkins. Wash and clean your seeds from your pumpkin, making sure you remove any unwanted pumpkin rinds or deformed seeds. Wash in a colander and once again remove any unwanted items.
- Soak the clean seeds in a bowl full of water for 1/2 hour on kitchen counter or overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the seeds, discarding the water.
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Fill a pot with water and a dash of salt (enough water so that it will cover the seeds). Bring the water to a boil. Place seeds into the boiling water and boil gently for about 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and drain the seeds and place back into your empty bowl. Toss seeds with olive oil and sea salt. Lay out seeds in thin layer onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Roast seeds in your oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Roast for another 8-10 minutes (keep checking your seeds because the bake time can vary a lot depending on your oven!). During the last 5 minutes of roasting, remove a few seeds and crack open to make sure the inner seeds are not burning (you don’t want the inner seed brown). Cool a couple and pop them into your mouth to test. They are ready when the shell is super crispy and easy to bite through. The inner seed should have only a hint of golden tinge to it. They should not be brown.
- Season with additional salt if desired. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Place into a clean mason jar. Enjoy!
Join the conversation:
What’s your favourite seasoning for pumpkin seeds?
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