9 Quick and Easy Roasted Pumpkin Seed Recipes
Last Updated: Oct 11, 2016
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So you’ve finished carving your pumpkin and moved on to marveling at your masterpiece. But wait: Don’t toss out those pumpkin seeds! Packed with nutritional value, they make the perfect fall snack. Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and protein, pumpkin seeds are also high in immunity-boosting zinc -- a definite plus for the upcoming cold and flu season. Read on to learn how to make your own roasted pumpkin seeds, along with nine lip-smackin’ flavor ideas to try.
HOW TO ROAST PUMPKIN SEEDS
First, use a spoon to scoop the seeds from the pumpkin. Separate the seeds from the flesh with your hands. Rinse the seeds under cold water, and then spread them on a towel to dry. Next, lightly coat the seeds in oil or spices. (Note: Some seasonings are best added before roasting, and some are best added after.) The amount of oil and spices you’ll use will depend on taste and how many cups of pumpkin seeds a pumpkin yields. For our recipe ideas, we’ll be using a cup of pumpkin seeds. Finally, roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds. Check every five minutes for doneness. They’re ready once they’re golden-brown and easy to bite into.
MATCHA AND SEA SALT
These savory pumpkin seeds are dusted with matcha powder and sea salt. Matcha powder is a great source of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a powerful antioxidant that can also help lower blood pressure. To make, add a teaspoon of matcha powder and a sprinkle of salt (to taste) after roasting the seeds.
TURMERIC AND BLACK PEPPER
In addition to looking decidedly Halloweeny, turmeric and black pepper offer more health benefits when served together. “Turmeric is long known for its anti-inflammatory properties,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Maggie Michalczyk. “And when combined with black pepper, studies have shown that the black pepper makes the cancer-fighting properties in turmeric up to 1,000 times more available to the body.” Start by adding a few tablespoons of canola oil to your pumpkin seeds before roasting. Add about a tablespoon of turmeric and a sprinkle of black pepper (to taste) after roasting.
CARDAMOM AND MACA
For a snack that tastes like a spiced milkshake, reach for these seeds. Cardamom’s aromatic notes add depth to maca’s malt-like flavor. And while the research into maca’s health benefits is still in its infancy, maca has the potential to help balance hormones -- particularly in postmenopausal women -- and fight the flu virus, says registered dietitian nutritionist Barbra Sassower. Cardamom supplies its own share of benefits. It bursts with antioxidants and can also help lower blood pressure. You’ll lightly toss the pumpkin seeds with a tablespoon of olive oil before roasting. Sprinkle on a teaspoon of ground cardamom and a tablespoon of maca powder after roasting.
KELP AND CAYENNE
Following a low-sodium diet? You’ll want to try these pumpkin seeds. “Cayenne pepper is my go-to for adding a lot of flavor without any sodium,” says Sassower. “And kelp adds a lot of flavor for such a modest amount of sodium.” Kelp also contains iodine, a mineral that supports thyroid function. Begin by adding one tablespoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of cayenne before roasting the seeds. Once cooled, sprinkle liberally with kelp granules.
MANUKA HONEY AND CINNAMON
These pumpkin seeds offer a satisfying sweet-and-spicy crunch. Manuka honey provides powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, while cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar. To make, add two tablespoons of Manuka honey, one tablespoon of canola oil and a teaspoon of cinnamon to the seeds before roasting.
This is a snack for any chocolate lover. Cacao powder packs a powerful antioxidant punch that protects your cells from damage, thanks to phytonutrients called flavonols. Flavonol-rich foods can also lower the risk of heart disease, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Before roasting the seeds, coat them in one tablespoon of coconut oil. And after roasting the seeds, stir in one tablespoon each of cinnamon and cacao powder.
Pumpkin seeds, meet pumpkin spice. Pumpkin spice packs in several antioxidant powerhouses: cloves, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and allspice. Cinnamon also offers antimicrobial activity that can help you fend off pesky colds, says Sassower. To make, add a tablespoon of coconut oil and half a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice before roasting.
Who says fall treats can’t taste tropical? A mix of virgin coconut oil and chopped toasted coconut adds a decidedly summery twist to an autumn classic. Coconut’s saturated fatty acids can actually increase “good” cholesterol. Shredded coconut supplies essential iron, which helps your cells produce energy. Begin by tossing the seeds in one tablespoon of coconut oil and one tablespoon of honey before roasting. Mix with a handful of shredded, toasted coconut immediately after roasting.
PARMESAN AND GARLIC
Craving something savory? These pumpkin seeds burst with garlicky, cheesy flavor. Parmesan supplies calcium -- a must-have for healthy bones and muscles -- while garlic offers powerful antioxidant protection. To make, toss the seeds in one tablespoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of garlic powder and two tablespoons of Parmesan cheese before roasting.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Have you ever made your own roasted pumpkin seeds before? What are some of your favorite pumpkin seed seasonings? Which of these flavor combinations would you try? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Related: Make These 8 Simple Changes for a Healthy Fall
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