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3 Downright delicious recipes to make the most of pumpkin seeds

Liren is the founder and author of Kitchen Confidante that shares everything from simple family favorites to new creative culinary discoveries.

Carving pumpkins is a tradition that I hold near and dear to my heart. I have many memories of carving jack o' lanterns as a child, but also have fun memories of the afternoon I spent carving intricate designs on pumpkins when my husband and I started dating.

Each year thereafter, we have looked forward to carving pumpkins, and now, with our children, it's even more fun! I love seeing a family of jack o'lanterns on our front porch on Halloween night. But what to do with all those pumpkin seeds? Well, the possibilities are endless.

1. Roast them

The first thing, and one of the most popular ways to enjoy pumpkin seeds, is by simply roasting them. But why not add some exciting flavor? Bring out the flavors of fall by adding some cinnamon and nutmeg. Or If you like sweet and spicy, then try wasabi brown sugar roasted pumpkin seeds.

Wasabi brown sugar roasted pumpkin seeds

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pumpkin (yields about 1 cup pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon wasabi powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Pinch cayenne pepper for extra heat, if desired

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

  1. Rinse pumpkin seeds in a strainer under running water, then boil in salted water for about 10 minutes. Drain and then dry the seeds on a paper towel in a single layer.
  2. Place the pumpkin seeds on the baking sheet. Lightly toss in a little bit of oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Transfer the seeds to a small bowl and toss in the melted butter, wasabi powder, brown sugar and cayenne pepper (if using). Return to the baking sheet and roast for another 10-15 minutes.
Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container.

2. Make chocolate bark

Chocolate goes with everything, right? And chocolate bark is super easy to make. Chocolate melts easily in a double burner or even the microwave, and pumpkin seeds add lots of crunch. I love the autumn twist in this dark chocolate, pumpkin seed and cranberry bark.

Dark chocolate, pumpkin seed and cranberry bark

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces dark bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 8 ounces dark semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • Sea salt

Directions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over gently simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring frequently. You can also melt the chocolate in a microwave in 30-second increments until melted.
  3. Spread the melted chocolate on the prepared baking sheet, forming an 8 x 10-inch rectangle. It doesn't have to be perfect, but use a spatula to spread it evenly.
  4. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and coconut flakes. After the chocolate has cooled a bit, sprinkle with sea salt (it helps to wait a little so it doesn't sink or melt in).
  5. Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until firm. Use a sharp knife to cut into pieces and enjoy.

3. Bake a batch of granola

I love starting my day with a helping of crunchy granola; it's got everything I need to fuel up for the day. Making granola takes no time at all in the oven, and you can customize it however you wish. Try putting pumpkin seeds in a pumpkin seed granola, with almond slivers, cranberries and toasted coconut. It's wonderful with a cup of yogurt.

Pumpkin seed granola with almonds, cranberries and toasted coconut

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or lightly mist with baking spray.

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts and cinnamon. In a small saucepan, mix together the maple syrup and brown sugar and stir over medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and stir until evenly coated. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking tray and place it in the oven.
  2. Bake for about 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut flakes and bake for 5 minutes more. When the granola is toasted, remove from oven and place in a large bowl. Add the dried cranberries and stir. Store in an airtight container.
Disclosure: This post is part of a collaboration with Marie Callender's and SheKnows.
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