When you're carving pumpkins, don't toss the seeds. Toast them instead! Change them up with sweet or savory flavors for delicious autumn snacking. Here's how to get the best results when roasting pumpkin seeds:
1. Wash the seeds
This is easiest just after you've removed the seeds from the pumpkin, before the pulp has dried. Put the pulp and seeds into a large bowl of cold water, and work the pulp with your fingers, picking out the strings and clingy pumpkin bits.
More: How to Carve a Pumpkin
2. Boil seeds in salted water
You may have noticed: Pumpkin seeds don't roast evenly. The insides tend to get done faster than the shells; they can burn in the middle before the shells are nice and toasty. Simmering them first, in salty water for about 10 minutes, solves this problem.
3. Dry the seeds
Drain the seeds in a sieve and dry with towels.
4. Place them on a baking sheet
Drizzle the seeds with about 1 teaspoon of oil. Stir to coat the seeds and then spread them out into a single layer. The less overlap the better. If you prefer, omit the oil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.
Tip: You can roast the seeds of any winter squash, not just pumpkin.
5. Sprinkle them with salt and bake at 325 degrees F
Roast until toasted, about 25 minutes. Check on your seeds every 10 minutes, removing the baking sheet from the oven and stirring. After 20 minutes, give them a test. Let them cool a moment; then break into a few to ensure they're not burning on the inside. If they're crispy on the outside, tender and golden on the inside, you're work is done.
6. Let cool and store in an air-tight container.
Season them as you like. And crunch away! Stored in an air-tight container, your pumpkin seeds will keep for 1-2 months in the refrigerator, or at room temperature for about a week.
Watch this short video for more tips and tricks on how to roast pumpkin seeds: