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!