When I think about all the good food I used to throw out, it makes me cringe a bit. Pumpkin seeds are no exception – it seems crazy to throw them into the compost bin and then go buy more at the store for snacking! If this is you, it’s time to learn how to make pumpkin seeds at home. You won’t regret it: save money, minimize food waste, get a delicious snack out of the deal…win-win.
How to Make Pumpkin Seeds at Home
It is SO simple to make pumpkin seeds at home…but there are a few steps involved for perfect roasted pumpkin seeds.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- a bunch of seeds from a pumpkin (duh!)
- a bowl
- avocado or melted coconut oil
- any seasonings you wish, like Za’atar, Cinnamon, Cumin or Curry
- a rimmed baking sheet
- parchment paper
How to Make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Step by Step
- Start by removing as much pulp as you can from the seeds and place them in a bowl.
- Fill the bowl with water, and swirl the seeds around to remove every last bit of pulp from them. Either remove them from the bowl with your fingers or a slotted spoon.
- Place seeds on a clean kitchen towel and let them dry completely. Don’t use paper towel unless you like the idea of peeling paper towel bits off of dried pumpkin seeds. This will take between 30-60 minutes. Rinse and dry the bowl while you’re at it.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius) and prep the baking sheet with parchment paper.
- When the seeds are dry, place them back in the clean bowl and toss with avocado oil, a big pinch of salt and any spices you wish. Perhaps 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) of oil, plus a big pinch of salt and maybe ½ – 1 tsp of spices per cup of seeds. Omit salt if you’re going for a cinnamon sugar vibe.
- Bake for 10 minutes, stir through and bake for 10-20 minutes more. You’re looking for golden brown and crisp seeds. Set a timer, and check often!
- Let cool completely before eating…they’re hotter than you think.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
So, you’ve got all these yummy pumpkin seeds. But are they just a tasty treat?
Or is there actually some nutritional benefits to eating them? I’ve got you…read on.
Pumpkin Seed Nutrition
A quarter cup of whole pumpkin seeds (when you make them at home, you get the fibre-rich husk plus nutritious pepita inside) packs a surprising amount of nutrition for very few calories:
- 3 g of protein
- 3 g of fibre
- 149 mg of potassium (for electrolyte balance and heart/kidney health)
- 43 mg of magnesium (muscle contraction, immune and heart health, calming to the nervous system)
- 1.6 mg of zinc (skin, immune, gut health)
- 0.5 mg of iron (energy)
- 3 g of fat, mostly monounsaturated and omega 6
If you are eating a quarter cup of store-bought pepitas, without the husk, they have more concentrated nutritional values
- 10 g of protein
- 2 g of fibre
- 283 mg of potassium
- 200 mg of magnesium
- 2.7 mg of zinc
- 3 mg of iron (energy)
- 17 g of fat
(all nutrient data from Canadian Nutrient Data File)
Older, single studies have also suggested that pumpkin seeds are rich in anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, or that they may be directly supportive of heart health and prostate health…but in my opinion, the best path to a healthy body is to eat more plants. And pumpkin seeds fit the bill!
5 Pumpkin Seed Recipes
Seeds don’t typically get as much attention as their more popular cousins, nuts. But if you’re ready to add some more pumpkin seed love to your life, here is a bit of inspiration!
Swap the canola oil for avocado in this Pumpkin Seed Granola Recipe