If the pumpkin-themed section of your favorite grocery store isn’t enough to convince you, pumpkins are one of the highlights of fall.
Usually it’s the orange, slightly sweet meat that gets all the love. But this year, after you’ve done your annual pumpkin picking and carving, hold onto the seeds.
According to the USDA, pumpkin seeds are full of essential nutrients, particularly magnesium, potassium, and zinc, and they’re a great source of protein—one cup has more than 18 grams. Roasted pumpkin seeds make a delicious, crunchy topping for your favorite fall dishes, or a snack all on their own to munch on throughout the day.
While most pumpkin seeds are roasted with the shell, it’s the tender, meatier inside—also known as pepitas—that you really want. You can shell the seeds yourself, or buy raw, already hulled seeds at the grocery store. Season them with sea salt and pepper, or get creative with a mix of spices—cumin and coriander make a good salad-topper, and a combination of cinnamon and ginger is delicious on top of yogurt or ice cream.
Here’s how to make the perfect roasted pumpkin seeds to enjoy all season long: