Have you ever tried making a homemade pumpkin seeds recipe? Not only do they taste great, but pumpkin seeds have been used for centuries for their anti-parasitic effects. Plus, they’re a rich source of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
You can eat pumpkin seeds raw, but many people enjoy pumpkin seeds roasted and crunchy even more. This pumpkin seeds recipe comes with even more health-boosting ingredients like cayenne pepper, which some research shows may help you to burn more calories while decreasing your appetite. What else is in my roasted pumpkin seeds seasoning? Other flavorful and healthy powerhouses like chili powder and paprika.
So how do you eat roasted pumpkin seeds? You can eat them by themselves or add them to healthy recipes as a topping. For example, they make a perfect crunchy addition to a salad. Is this the best pumpkin seed recipe? It just may be. Give it a try and find out!
Why Soak Pumpkin Seeds (and Alternatives)
Seeds, nuts and beans all naturally contain anti-nutrients, which can make them difficult to digest and make it harder to absorb their nutrients. Pumpkin seeds, for example, contain an anti-nutrient and enzyme inhibitor called phytic acid. Phytic acid is specifically known for decreasing the absorption of vital nutrients like iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium.
Why do healthy foods contain these anti-nutrients? These anti-nutrients help to protect plants from predators, and they also prevent premature sprouting. So while these compounds may be good for the plants themselves, they’re not the best for the people who eat them.
The good news is there is a way to reduce these anti-nutrients and make oven roasted pumpkin seeds even healthier. How? By soaking the seeds before roasting them. Soaking and sprouting seeds help to make them easier on the digestive system and increase nutrient availability. If you’d like, you can sprout your pumpkin seeds before roasting as well.
Some people opt to boil raw pumpkin seeds in salty water rather than wait for the seeds to soak for eight hours. In addition to soaking and sprouting, boiling is another way to reduce or deactivate anti-nutrients like phytic acid.
Are toasted pumpkin seeds good for you? As you’re about to see, roasted pumpkin seeds nutrition is impressive, with numerous essential vitamins and minerals in every single bite!
A quarter cup (around 35 grams) of these spicy roasted pumpkin seeds contains about:
- 113 calories
- 3.1 grams protein
- 7.8 grams fat
- 8.9 grams carbohydrate
- 3.1 grams fiber
- 0 grams sugar
- 198.9 milligrams sodium
- 1.6 milligrams zinc (15 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligrams copper (11 percent DV)
- 42 milligrams magnesium (10 percent DV)
- 0.1 milligrams manganese (4 percent DV)
- 0.5 milligrams iron (2.8 percent DV)
- 14.7 milligrams phosphorus (1.2 percent DV)
- 10.8 milligrams calcium (1 percent DV)
How to Make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
There are variations for how to roast pumpkin seeds with different times and temperatures, but I would not leave out the step of soaking, or at least boiling, the seeds before roasting to really get the most (nutritionally speaking) out of any pumpkin seeds recipe.
Once you have a pumpkin on hand, the first step is removing the seeds from the inside of the pumpkin. Once you cut the pumpkin in half or around the stem (if you’re making a jack-o’-lantern), pull the clumps of seeds out. Some seeds will be attached to the inner flesh of the pumpkin, so you’ll have to wash off any leftover flesh that you can’t easily pick off with your fingers. No harm if you leave some on though …
Next, you’ll place the pumpkin seeds in salty warm water (I recommend using filtered water rather than tap water). Make sure the seeds are completely submerged. Now, let them sit and soak at room temperature for the next 8 hours, or overnight. After soaking, drain the seeds and rinse them in a colander before putting them on a baking sheet to dry out for at least eight hours. Another option is to use a dehydrator or blot them with paper towels until dry.
While the oven is preheating, simply combine the roasted pumpkin seeds seasoning ingredients with the pumpkin seeds and avocado oil. Toss well and spread the seeds out on a baking sheet and cook them until they are lightly browned. Watch the seeds carefully toward the end of the cooking time as an extra minute or two can easily turn the seeds from a nice golden brown to overdone.
Enjoy your roasted pumpkin seeds by themselves as a snack or throw some into your next salad. They’re also a great crunchy topping for a homemade pumpkin pie cheesecake.