Make the most of this nutritious fall treat
Nothing heralds the arrival fall like its signature flavor—pumpkin. Once the jack-o’-lantern carving over, don’t let the insides go to waste. Save the seeds for fall baking and entertaining. Roasted pumpkin seeds bring a great addition of autumn flavor to recipes that call for nuts like salads, breads, and desserts. Or, pop a handful of seasoned seeds in your mouth for a nutritious snack. While most pumpkin seeds are roasted with the shell, it’s the tender, meatier insides that you really want. Also called pepitas, pumpkin seeds are a rich source of heart-healthy, plant-based protein. You can shell the seeds yourself, or you can find raw, already hulled seeds at the grocery store.
To roast the pepitas, first rinse them in water and pat completely dry. Toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can also kick the flavor up a notch with the addition of your favorite spices—rosemary, thyme, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, etc. Next, spread the seeds out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. If you can’t have parchment paper or aluminum foil on hand, coat the baking sheet with cook spray to ensure the seeds won’t stick. Bake at 325° for 10-15 minutes, or until crisp. Let them cool completely on the pan, and then enjoy. Follow our how-to video for easy, step-by-step instructions.
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Versatile pepitas will be your go-to ingredient for fall cooking occasions. Swap the mixed nuts for a bowl of Spicy Roasted Chile Peanuts and Pepitas at your next party. Top creamy butternut squash soup with toasted pumpkin seeds for a simple weeknight supper. For the Thanksgiving dessert spread, bake a standout Bundt cake that’s topped with sugared pecans and pepitas. In the mood for a lighter dish? Try a harvest salad with grilled sweet potatoes, poblano peppers, and—yes—roasted pumpkin seeds.