Simple roasted pumpkin seeds are a healthy seasonal snack.

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A trip to the pumpkin patch is one of our favorite fall traditions, and you can bet we’re coming home with the perfect pumpkin to carve up. We love decorating our porches with grinning, glowing jack-o’-lanterns and marveling at our neighbors’ displays. Our approach to pumpkin carving is seasonally-inspired: While there’s certainly a place for ghoulish grins and spooky smiles, our favorite pumpkins take a cue form the season, with elegant leaf carvings that will stun all fall long. The more unique, the better: We love pumpkins that are personalized and tailored to your family, from monogrammed initials to house number topiaries.

Just as we love seasonally-inspired pumpkin designs, we also can’t resist unique fall treats. When the weather starts to cool down, we’re cranking our ovens up and baking lots of favorite fall recipes, from sweet-and-salty caramel desserts to pumpkin-spiced snacks. But in a season full of decadent cakes and pies, one of our favorite recipes is full of seasonal flavor, and it’s healthy to boot: roasted pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, not only taste great, but they’re also packed full of nutritious benefits. They’re a lovely, crunchy addition to homemade granola, seasonal bakes, and hearty salads—or they can be enjoyed all on their own. This snack is great to take on-the-go or pack in the kids’ lunchboxes. So when you’re carving up your Halloween pumpkin, don’t forget to save the seeds to roast as a healthy seasonal snack. But the process of breaking down a pumpkin can be overwhelming and messy. Not to worry: we’ve got all the tips on how to make the most of every part of the pumpkin.

How To Clean Pumpkin Seeds

  1. Carve and Scoop: To start, carve a hole around the stem at the top of the pumpkin and remove the top. Scoop the seeds out of the pumpkin using your hands (you can also use a kitchen tool, like a scooper or a spoon, but we find using our hands is the most effective method).
  2. Pick and Separate: The seeds will cling to the pumpkin meat, so pick out and separate the seeds from the pumpkin guts. Clean the pumpkin seeds of the strands and tendrils of pumpkin as best as you can, but don’t break out the tweezers—a few traces of pumpkin can add extra flavor.
  3. Rinse: Once you’ve removed the strings of pumpkin from the seeds, place the seeds in a colander and rinse under cold water. While washing the seeds, pinch off the remaining strands or chunks of pumpkin flesh.
  4. Dry: Lay the rinsed seeds out on a baking sheet, ensuring they’re spread out in one layer. Depending on the size of your pumpkin, you may need multiple baking sheets. It’s important not to overlap or pile the seeds on top of each other so they can properly dry out.

WATCH: 40 Easy Pumpkin Recipes Full of Fall Flavor

Pat the seeds dry with a paper towel. If you like your seeds extra crispy, let them dry out overnight before roasting. Or, if you’re ready to start snacking, roast the pumpkin seeds right away. And voilà—you’ve made your own healthy fall snack!

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