Every pumpkin carver must wonder, "Can't we make something from these pumpkin seeds? Roast them maybe?" And sure, you can. Many people do. I have and will again. But first a little pumpkin-seed anatomy lesson.
Straight out of the pumpkin, inspect a pumpkin seed and the first thing you'll encounter is the white-ish exterior hull. The hull is tough and fibrous, not inedible, but, well, chewy. Inside is the coveted kernel, pale green and full of nutrition. (Can't imagine that? Then consider the more familiar sunflower seed, with a tough outer hull protecting an inner kernel. Same thing.)
In Mexican cooking, pumpkin seeds are called 'pepitas' [puh-PEE-tahs] and a Mexican market is a great source of prepared pumpkin seeds, both with their hulls on and my own favorite, just the kernels.
First up, you do want to try roasting pumpkin seeds.
Andrea's Recipes ~ Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
"We roast our seeds without preboiling, and our favorite flavors are cajun seasoning or curry powder and sea salt. Using spray oil was something new I tried this year, and I really like how it worked. Nice and neat, and not too oily."
But then, get creative.
An appetizer made with pumpkin seeds, perhaps?
101 Cookbooks ~ Broiled Goat Cheese with Pumpkin Seed Sauce
"The tanginess of the goat cheese works nicely with the bite of jalapeno, and strength of cilantro. It's a great party recipe, you can make it well ahead of time and bake it off at the last minute."
Seeds can be the basis of a main dish too.
Red Ramekin ~ New World Quinoa Salad
"... the pepitas: they add an amazingly delicious crunch to this salad ... they look so pretty, and add another dimension (in flavor and texture) to the dish. Enjoy!"
Baking and Books ~ Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Seed Pesto
"... this meal is surprisingly satisfying and delicious – who knew squash on squash could taste so good? In the absence of cheese, which is usually added to pestos, the pumpkin seeds add an earthy, nutty flavor that is nicely complimented by the sweetness of the basil. The spaghetti squash has both texture and a subtle flavor, just enough to enhance the pesto."
I love to tuck seeds into breads, adding texture, protein and variety.
Wild Yeast Blog ~ Pumpkin Seed Bread "This pumpkin seed bread is soft, although it contains 67% whole-grain flour, because it also has a fair amount of butter — very nice for sandwiches and toast."
The Passionate Cook ~ Sourdough Bread with Carrots, Linseeds & Pumpkin Seeds
"... works equally well as a round "free-style" loaf as well as baked in a loaf tin"
Oh right. And the sweet stuff, you knew we'd get to pumpkin seeds in baked goods, didn't you? Right!
Apple Pie, Patis & Pate ~ Pumpkin Seed Cream Scones
"Cream-based scones are as quick and easy as scones can get. This recipe requires nothing more than cream and any combination of dried fruits and nuts of your choice."
Alpine Berry ~ Poppy Pumpkin Seed Poppers
"I didn't quite know what to call these cookies. I started with a recipe for Russian tea cakes / Mexican wedding cookies, but filled them with a combination of toasted pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas) and poppy seeds. The name for these little treats came to me when the head honcho at work admitted that he couldn't stop popping them into his mouth."
And you, what's your favorite thing to do with pumpkin seeds? Leave a recipe or a link to a recipe in the comments!
BlogHer food editor Alanna Kellogg loves to top her family's Thanksgiving favorite Squash Puff with hulled and toasted pepitas.
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