How to toast pumpkin seeds. Such a simple thing and so tasty, and do you know good for you too? Pumpkin seeds are a nutritional powerhouse and high in protein. Toss with a little olive oil and sea salt, then roast for a few minutes. Snack on them, add to salads, dress up kale, or garnish soups. I always have a container in my fridge.
How to Toast Pumpkin Seeds
When I was a kid, I would wait until Halloween was over, then cut up our jack o'lanterns, clean out the seeds, wash them and toast them to snack on. A bit of a messy project and the hull is still on.
Today I prefer raw green pumpkins seeds. You might see them called pepitas, which means little seed of squash in Spanish. They are common in many cuisines from Mexico, Latin America, the American Southwest, Russia and Ukraine. You can buy them in a bag from Bobs Red Mill (on Amazon) or at many stores.
Toasting pumpkin seeds is really easy and takes just a few minutes in the oven. You can buy them in a bag, from Bobs Red Mill. Scatter the deep green seeds on a rimmed baking sheet covered wtih foil. Toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a few pinches of sea salt. Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Watch so they don't burn. Trust your nose. When you smell them, check them. They have a wonderful nutty, addictive flavor.
Another way to toast them is at low heat, no higher than 170 degrees. I've read articles that say the healthy fats in pumpkin seeds are better persevered roasted at lower heat. I've done both, and of course like the "healthier" idea, but I prefer the toastier, richer taste of pumpkin seeds roasted at a higher temperature. Try them both then decide for yourself.
Pumpkin Seed Nutrition
These flat, dark green little seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. Just 1 ounce, about 3 tablespoons, provides 8 grams of protein. Pumpkin seeds are good source of iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin E and magnesium.
Pumpkin seeds also contain high levels of phytosterols, which help keep our hearts and brains young. Researchers are finding they might help reduce the risk for diseases such as Alzheimer's.
Ways to Enjoy Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Toss them in salads. I especially love them in raw kale salads with a pumpkin oil vinaigrette.
- Sprinkle on top of oatmeal
- Sprinkle on pumpkin polenta
- Garnish soups
- Add to granola
- As a crunchy snack alone or as part of a nut mix
- Sprinkle in plain Greek yogurt sweetened with a little honey or maple syrup
- 1 cup raw green pumping seeds pepitas
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon of sea salt
- Pre-heat oven to 300º. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with foil. Toss pumpkin seeds with oil and salt (and any spices if using). Toast for 20 minutes. Cool, package and enjoy.