5 tasty uses for your leftover pumpkin seeds

By / Food / October 3rd, 2017 / 1

It’s October and that means picking out pumpkins in preparation for the dual-holiday season of Thanksgiving and Halloween, both of which have a tendency to leave behind pumpkin seeds by the handful. Instead of tossing them in the compost, try making delicious snacks — here are a few ideas to get your started.

(If you have extra pumpkin, try these 7 vegan pumpkin recipes.)

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

The following recipe is the basics. Experiment to create different flavours, from barbecue to smoky chipotle and more — add your spices to the olive oil prior to tossing with the seeds.

2 cups raw seeds, cleaned
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add seeds, lower heat and boil gently for 10 minutes. Drain well and pat dry with paper towel.

In a medium bowl, add seeds and olive oil. Toss until seeds are coated.

Spread seeds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; bake, stirring occasionally, until puffed, crisp and browned, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Using Pumpkin Seeds

While the seeds alone make a nutritious and delicious snack, you can use pepitas (the Spanish term for pumpkin seeds) in a variety of other ways to add a bit of pumpkin-y goodness to your day.

#1 As a Garnish

Soups, salads, cheese, bread — the options are endless and the garnish delicious.

#2 As an Addition

Throw pepitas in granola or your favourite trail mix to get a new flavour dimension. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, include a cup in your muffin mix, cookie batter or even biscotti recipe.

#3 As a Candy

Bake up some spiced pumpkin seed brittle (recipe below) or encase the pepitas in sugar and honey.

#4 As a Spread

Purée pepitas to make pesto, pumpkin seed butter or even hummus for a delicious new spread.

#5 As a Meat Alternative

Pepitas are rich in protein, potassium, fibre and iron, so they’re an excellent meat alternative. Cook up some pumpkin-seed burgers or try out a pepita-based pâté.

spiced pumpkin seed brittle

3 tbsp butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom or ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup pumpkin seeds, raw and hulled
1/2 tsp baking soda

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in sugar, honey, spices and salt, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

Raise heat to medium and bring to a boil. When it reaches 280°F on a candy thermometer, add pumpkin seeds. Bring the mixture up to 300°F.

Remove from heat and stir in baking soda.

Pour onto a greased cookie sheet, flatten and let cool.


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