How to Eat Pumpkin Seeds

Most people don't think about eating the seeds out of the pumpkin after they've opened it up and carved it. The pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, however, are actually very good to eat and are healthy for you. They are usually flat, dark green in color and tender like the seeds you find in squash. They taste mildly sweet. Most pumpkin seeds are enclosed within a cream-colored shell that is edible. So, do you know how to eat pumpkin seeds?

5 Ways to Eat Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are actually quite good. There are several ways to prepare them that you would like to know about and try:

1.   Eat Them Raw

You can simply eat them straight out of the pumpkin. Whether you eat them out of the shell or with shell is up to you. It is completely safe to eat the pumpkin seeds shell if you like. Some individuals will remove the seeds from the shells for kids so that they don't choke on the shells. The shell doesn't chew easily and if you don't chew them completely, the shell can become stuck in your throat or can scratch the inside of the throat during swallowing. Some individuals get a stomach ache from eating whole pumpkin seeds, so they should take caution when eating the seeds with the shells. However, as long as you chew carefully and completely, the pumpkin seeds are generally safe to eat with or without the shell.

2.   Fry Them

Pumpkin seeds taste great when fried, so it is also a good answer when asked how to eat pumpkin seeds. All it takes is a little hot olive oil in which you put the seeds in. You fry the seeds until they start to pop. Add about a tablespoon of plain sugar into the frying pan and caramelize the seeds until they start to pop. This makes for a sweet pumpkin seed treat.

3.   Roast Them

Set the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. You will need to separate the seeds from the flesh of the pumpkin. You can do this by hand or use a clean comb to get the pulp off the seeds. Then clean off the outer shell of the seeds, so there is no trace of pulp on them. If you leave some of the pulp on the seeds, it adds a little bit of flavor. You can also soak the pumpkin seeds in water for a couple of hours, and then strain the seeds with a regular mesh strainer. When the seeds are slid out of the strainer, they will likely be very clean. Then dry the seeds with a paper towel and lay them out on a baking sheet. You don't need to season them, but a little curry powder, chipotle flakes, or cayenne pepper will be really good ways to add flavor. If you want sweet pumpkin seeds, you can add some clove, cinnamon, or nutmeg. Salt and pepper are good options, too. After that, put the pumpkin seeds in the oven for about 20 minutes, after which they will be golden brown and crunchy in texture. Cool them off before munching on them.

4.   Toast Them

Want to know how to eat pumpkin seeds by roasting them? Set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Boil water and then put the pumpkin seeds into it for about ten minutes. Don't forget to separate the seeds from the pumpkin pulp by hand or by combing the pulp out with a clean comb. Once the pumpkin seeds are separated from the pulp and boiled, you can drain the seeds using a colander. Then put olive oil in the bottom of a roasting pan and toss the pumpkin seeds with the oil. Put them in the oven at the top rack, and bake them for 5 to 20 minutes. If the seeds are small, it will take only 5-7 minutes to brown while medium seeds will roast in about 10-15 minutes. Big pumpkin seeds may take as much as 20 minutes to roast completely through. Let the pumpkin seeds cool down before you eat them.

5.   Incorporate Them in Recipes

Pumpkin seeds taste great by themselves, but they can be added as part of some great dishes, including salads, breads, flan, pesto, and brittle. Now that you want to know how to eat pumpkin seeds, some recipes should not be ignored. Here are two delicious and easy recipes to get you started:

  • Pesto with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

Amount

Loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves

½ cup

Loosely packed fresh flat leaf parsley

½ cup

Garlic cloves

2 cloves

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup

Toasted pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons

Salt

¼ teaspoon

Olive oil

¼ cup

Use a food processor and pulse the first six ingredients about ten times. Drizzle the olive oil over the dry ingredients and pulse an additional six times. Cover the mixture and allow it to chill until you can serve it.

  • Spicy Chili Peanuts and Pepitas

Ingredients

Amount

Dry roasted unsalted peanuts

2 cups

Melted butter

2 tablespoons

Light brown sugar

2 tablespoons

Chili powder

2 teaspoons

Ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon

Ground red pepper

¼ teaspoon

Roasted, salted and shelled pumpkin seeds

1 cup

Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir the peanuts with the butter in a bowl and then stir in the brown sugar and spices. Toss the entire mixture to coat completely before putting the peanuts on a lightly greased baking pan (single layer). Bake the mixture for 10-15 minutes, stirring until the peanuts are golden brown. After removing the peanuts from the oven, mix in the pumpkin seeds and let the entire mixture cool on a rack for about twenty minutes.

Since there are so many benefits of pumpkin seeds as listed in the following video, just try to incorporate the seeds in your diet as you like.

 
 
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