We explain how to roast pumpkin seeds and make the most of your autumnal squash so that nothing goes to waste...
Every autumn, our users flock to bbcgoodfood.com to find inspiration for carving and cooking pumpkin. In 2015, for the first time we saw a flurry of searches for ‘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 has some advice for putting every single part of your pumpkin to use by making delicious, home-roasted pumpkin seeds.
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.
A note on choice of seed
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More ways with pumpkin seeds…
More pumpkin inspiration...
How to carve a pumpkin video
Guide to carving pumpkin
How to cook with pumpkin
Our top pumpkin recipes
Three new ideas for carving Halloween pumpkins
Have you ever tried making your own flavoured pumpkin seeds? We'd love to hear your serving suggestions...