1. Clean the seeds. The annoying-but-necessary task is that you have to meticulously clean the seeds until there are no signs of pumpkin guts. After picking off the strands, give them a GOOD rinse with water in a colander.
Some say that sugar pumpkin seeds yield much crispier seeds than carving pumpkins.
2. Boil for 10 minutes in salt water. I added the pumpkin seeds to a medium-sized pot of water along with 1 tsp salt. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes over low-medium heat. This method helps make the pumpkin seeds easier to digest and produces a crispy outer shell during roasting.
3. Drain the seeds in a colander and dry lightly with a paper towel or tea towel. The seeds will stick to the towel, but just rub them off with your fingers. Don’t worry, they don’t have to be bone dry – just a light pat down.
4. Spread seeds onto a baking sheet and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (I only needed to use about 1/2-1 tsp). Massage oil into seeds and add a generous sprinkle of fine grain sea salt. Try to spread out the seeds as thin as possible with minor overlapping.
5. Roast seeds at 325 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir.
6. Turn off oven and let roast for another 8-10 minutes (if your oven temp is off, this could vary a lot!). During the last 5 minutes of roasting, remove a few seeds and crack open to make sure the inner seeds are not burning (you don’t want the inner seed brown).
7. Cool a couple and pop them into your mouth to test. They are ready when the shell is super crispy and easy to bite through. The inner seed should have only a hint of golden tinge to it. They should not be brown.
****There is no need to remove the outer shell; it’s quite possibly the best part.
Pumpkins are cheap right now..... You can always toast the seeds to make this pesto later.
This simple and healthy pumpkin seed pesto recipe is delicious. Pesto can top a piece of fish, tossed into hot pasta, or stirred into a soup.
Pumpkin seeds are one of nature's most nutritious foods, and this delicious pesto recipe is a great way to eat them!
****By the way, don't worry, most grocery and bulk stores now sell these roasted and ready to use.
Makes 1 1/2 Cups of Pumpkin Seed Pesto
1 cup pumpkin seeds shelled, roasted
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3 cloves garlic
Combine the pumpkin seeds, Parmesan, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse on and off, for about 20 seconds, until the seeds are almost ground.
1/4 cup italian seasoning (or 3/4 cup freshbasil leaves and 3/4 cup fresh parsley leaves)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cups olive oil
1/2 cup veg oil
salt to taste
Add the above 4 items and pulse on and off for about 40 seconds (you may want to scrape down the sides with a spatula in between pulses), until all the ingredients are combined. The mixture should be more like a course paste than a liquefied sauce, so be careful not to over-process. Transfer to a bowl, taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt.
***Be sure to taste first, as the pumpkin seeds may have been well salted when they were roasted.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to two days.