Learn how to roast pumpkin seeds and use them to make delicious autumnal snacks, salads and bakes. We have plenty of recipe ideas and nothing goes to waste!
Every autumn, there is increased interest around carving and cooking pumpkin, as well as pumpkin seeds – it seems there are a lot of people out there who agree with our ‘waste not, want not’ ethos. But how do you handle these fiddly little kernels? Our cookery writer Chelsie Collins has some advice for putting every single part of your pumpkin to use.
Why use pumpkin seeds?
Pumpkin seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals, and they’re a great source of fibre. Plus, while a packet of ready-prepared pumpkin seeds from the wholefoods aisle is quite affordable, there’s nothing better than the feeling of saving money by using up a product most people would throw away.
Read more about the health benefits of pumpkin seeds.
Choosing the right seeds
Chelsie recommends using small or medium-sized seeds. Some larger seeds may be too tough to eat, although generally all seeds are suitable for consumption, so make a judgement call based on the seeds you’re faced with. Seeds straight from the pumpkin are usually white and they look different to the dark green seeds you see in packets. This is because the dark seeds are the inner kernel, and they’re so tricky to extract that we advise against it.
Preparing the seeds
To clean the seeds, tip them into a sieve and wash under cold running water, pulling away any of the pulp from the pumpkin to discard it. Don’t worry if it doesn’t all come off, as it will once the seeds are boiled.
Cooking the seeds
Next, boil some salted water in a large saucepan, add the seeds and boil for 5-10 minutes depending on the size, then drain on kitchen towel. Toss the drained seeds with a little oil, some seasoning and spread evenly across a large baking sheet before roasting at 180C/gas 4 for about 8-10 minutes.
Watch Ocado's 4 ways with pumpkins video for a visual guide on how to roast the seeds.
You can add lots of different flavours to your seeds before roasting. Try paprika, chilli, cumin or a little brown sugar and honey for candied seeds. Alternatively, just season with rock salt and pepper. Our Chinese spiced seed mix is flavoured with five-spice powder and makes the perfect healthy snack to nibble on while watching TV.
How to store
The roasted seeds will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to three days. After that, they might lose their crunch.
Your roasted seeds will taste great sprinkled over salads or vegetable side dishes, served as a snack with drinks as a healthier alternative to nuts, or mixed with dried fruit and nuts to create a trail mix for packed lunches. For something more indulgent, combine pumpkin seeds with chocolate and cookie dough to make some seriously tasty biscuits, as shown in our next level cookies 4 ways video:
More ways with pumpkin seeds…
Celeriac ribbons tossed with chard, garlic & pumpkin seeds
Rye & pumpkin seed crackers
Cranberry, pumpkin seed & caramel flapjacks
Best ever pumpkin pie with stem ginger cream
Chinese spiced seed mix
Spicy seed mix
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Have you ever tried making your own flavoured pumpkin seeds? Leave a comment below...