It's an age old tradition that comes with the annual pumpkin-carving, yet more often than not it feels like roasting pumpkin seeds at home takes more effort than what their worth. The problem is, we've been making the process harder for ourselves all along. We found the fix to efficiently de-gunking those sticky, stringy piles of seeds, and although it may seems like an added step, it truly saves you time overall.
Boiling your sticky, goop-covered seeds for just a few minutes before seasoning keeps you from having to tediously detach and clean each individual seed as the stringy flesh easily slips away after a dip in salted hot water.
Beyond just making the cleaning process well, more clean, boiling the seeds in salted water helps maximize the amount of healthful nutrients your body is able to absorb by eating them since the additional cooking degrades the phytic acid, an anti-nutrient found within nuts, seeds, and grains. Phytic acid prevents the absorption of iron, zinc, and magnesium, all of which are abundant within pumpkin seeds. Thus, we can harness so much more of those beneficial nutrients through this quick step.
Lastly, rapid-boiling the seeds makes for a faster cook time in the oven and a crispier, crunchier, shell. The whole point of roasting seeds is to create the addictive crunch-factor, made possible by ensuring the insides are cooked through boiling and the shells are patted dry right before the roasting.
Simply scoop, rinse, boil, strain, and pat the seeds dry and season to hearts desire with EVOO and spices for the best snack of the season. You'll be throwing these on everything, and because you can roast virtually any winter squash seed (from kabocha, delicata, kuri kuri, acorn seeds, etc.) and not just those found in your carving pumpkin, there will be no shortage of opportunities to experiment with flavors!
Happy winter squash season!
The Best Ever Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
The key to perfectly crunchy and crisp roasted pumpkin seeds? A quick boil in salted water right before seasoning and roasting speeds up the cleaning process and optimizes not only post-roast texture, but nutrient absorption! Enjoy this quick recipe as a snack on it's own, or on top all of your favorite fall meals. Sweet, spicy, salty, flavored like your favorite bag of chips... there are countless ways to season and enjoy roasted pumpkin seeds this season.
Seeds from 1 medium pumpkin or squash (we got around ½ a cup of fresh seeds for this recipe)
1 tbsp Kyoord High-phenolic Olive Oil
1 tsp Jennifer Fisher Kitchen Universal salt (or you favorite flaky salt/ seasoning blend)
½ tsp paprika (optional, switch out with your favorite spices)
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Kosher salt to boil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Pull away as much of the string and goop from the seeds as you can, and add them to a colander. Rinse and shake the seeds to remove the pumpkin slime and flesh
Fill a medium saucepan with about 1 cup of water and add a heavy pinch of salt. Bring it to a boil and add the rinsed seeds. Gently boil the seeds for 5-10 minutes, then drain them through the colander again.
Pour the seeds on to a tea towel and pat them dry to remove as much moisture as possible.
In a mixing bowl, add the seeds, the EVOO, your spices, salt, and pepper. Stir well to evenly coat the seeds.
Dump the seeds onto the lined baking and bake for around 15 minutes, stirring the seeds half-way through and checking for crispiness. Remove once lightly golden brown, and let cool on a baking rack.
Store cooled seeds in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week.