Are you planning on growing pumpkins this year?
I love growing pumpkins because it saves money on fall decorations, I love canning the pumpkin as well, but also because my family loves to eat pumpkin seeds.
When I was kid my neighbors always cooked their pumpkin seeds, and they were delicious. But I never really gave it a shot until I had my own family.
Now, I’ve learned there are 3 different methods to preparing pumpkin seeds, and I’m going to share them with you.
Here are 3 methods to cook pumpkin seeds:
Method #1: Cooking Pumpkin Seeds in the Oven
1. Clean the Seeds
You’ll need to begin the process by cleaning out the pumpkin. You’ll slice it open and save the insides for later use.
Then you’ll need to pull the seeds and the pulp out. You will need to rinse the seeds to discard the pulp from them.
Next, you’ll need to dry the seeds. The dryer the seeds the easier they are going to cook. Usually, it’s a good idea to clean them the night before you want to cook them. That way you can leave them on a cookie sheet over night to dry.
If not, try popping them in the dehydrator for a little bit to get all of the excess moisture out of them. At the very least, dab the seeds with a paper towel until you have removed as much moisture from the cleaning process as possible.
2. Toss Them in Goodness
After your seeds are dry and ready to cook, you’ll need to place them in a bowl with some melted butter and salt. You’ll need about 2 tablespoons of butter per 1 cup of pumpkin seeds. You could add more or less depending upon your tastes.
Once you know that all of the seeds are thoroughly coated with salt and butter, then you are ready to move on.
3. Layer and Bake
Now that all of your seeds have been coated in the yummy goodness of salt and butter, you are ready to move on to the baking part.
So you’ll need to place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a cookies sheet. You’ll want to bake them at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for around 45 minutes. The time may vary some depending upon your oven.
You’ll know they are done when they are golden. Be sure to stir the seeds occasionally while they are in the oven baking so they don’t stick or become overcooked in certain areas.
4. Eat Them All Up
Finally, when the seeds have been thoroughly baked, you’ll need to pull them out of the oven. You can add more salt to taste if you’d like.
Then dig in! Eat as many as you want and then store the rest. They store well in the refrigerator, or in an air-tight container.
Method #2: Cooking Pumpkin Seeds on the Stove
1. Clean the Seeds
Growing up I had only had pumpkin seeds that were baked, but if I’m honest, I prefer to use my stove top over an oven or microwave. Microwaving is actually my least favorite kitchen tool of all (though supposedly it is the most convenient.) I guess I’m just old-school.
So I was really excited when I learned how to cook pumpkin seeds on the stove. It usually takes less time in my opinion, and is less messy in my opinion as well.
You’ll start this method the same as the last, by cleaning out the pumpkin. Be sure to save the pumpkin itself for later use.
Then take the seeds and pulp out of the pumpkin as well so they can be washed. The washing process consists of running the seeds under cool water in the sink. You could use a colander as well to help with the process.
Once you have all of the pulp removed from the seeds, you’ll need to dry the seeds. You can do this by patting them dry with a paper towel, popping them in the dehydrator for a little while until all of the excess moisture is removed, or allowing them to sit out over night to dry.
Either way, when they are dry, you are ready to move on to the next steps.
2. Heat the Butter
Next, you’ll want to put some butter in a skillet. You’ll need about 2 tablespoons per 1 cup of pumpkin seeds. Personally, you can just call me Paula, because I use a lot of butter when I cook.
So I say go for as much butter or other flavorings as you think make these seeds delicious in your book. That’s the great thing about making recipes yourself. You can tweak them to suit you anyway you like!
You’ll keep the butter moving in the pan until it is thoroughly melted. Be sure to melt it on a lower heat so it doesn’t scorch in the process.
3. Toss Them in Goodness
After the butter has been thoroughly melted, you’ll need to add your pumpkin seeds to the skillet. You’ll stir the seeds around in the skillet for about 15 minutes.
Again, be sure to keep an eye on the seeds. If you don’t move them around enough, you’ll end up with unevenly cooked seeds. Parts of the pumpkin seeds will be burnt while the other parts still remain uncooked.
So be sure to move the seeds around in the pan as needed. After the 15 minutes is up, check to make sure that your seeds are thoroughly cooked. You’ll know they are because the pumpkin seeds puff up.
Once you see that you have puffy and buttery pumpkin seeds, then you are ready to move on to the next step.
4. Add Some Seasonings
When the pumpkin seeds have been cooked, you can remove them from the burner. Now is the time to have fun with this recipe.
Of course, you’ll want to add salt. Salt just brings out the awesome flavor of the pumpkin seeds in my opinion.
But you might want to add other seasonings as well. Some people add Italian seasoning for a deeper flavor. Others add chili powder and cumin to give it a Mexican dish style.
And others add some seasoning salt to it. This adds the basic salt taste with a little added kick. My husband is a huge fan of seasoning salt.
Again, this is the part of the recipe you can play around with and see what spices you prefer when cooking your pumpkin seeds.
Once you have the right flavor combination, add it to the skillet of pumpkin seeds and butter. Stir in the seasonings and cook the seed mixture for a minute longer. This will give it all time to merry together.
5. Cool, Eat, and Store
After you’ve cooked the seeds for a little while longer, you can pull them off. You’ll want to be sure to cool them so they don’t burn your mouth when eating them.
Once they’ve cooled, enjoy the tasty snack.
Remember, if you can’t eat them all at once, you can easily store them in your fridge or in an air-tight container in your pantry.
Method #3: Cooking Pumpkin Seeds in the Microwave
1. Clean the Seeds
I’m assuming most people will really like this method because most people love the convenience of a microwave. I know my kids sure do! They laugh at me because I can cook anything on the stove or in the oven and not burn it.
Yet, give me the easier kitchen appliance of a microwave, and I burn it every time! Crazy, I know.
So for the rest of the world that is great with a microwave, this method should be super simple for you. You are going to begin by cleaning the pumpkin out. Like every other method, you’ll need to separate the seeds from the pulp by rinsing them.
Be sure to allow the seeds to dry. As mentioned above, you can let them dry on the counter over night while resting on a cookie sheet, dab them with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, or pop them in the dehydrator for a little while until the excess moisture has been pulled out of the seeds.
Once the seeds are dry, you are ready to move on with the process.
2. Heat the Butter
You can actually do this step while you are waiting on your seeds to dry. You’ll need to place some butter in a microwave safe dish.
However, if you prefer to use oil instead of butter, you can sub that out in this step if it’s your preference.
Then you’ll need to heat the oil or butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. This should melt the butter and heat the oil which is a great base for cooking and flavor for your pumpkin seeds.
3. Coat in Goodness
Next, you’ll need to take your dried pumpkin seeds and place them in the container that has the heated butter/ oil mixture. Toss the seeds in this mixture (carefully) until the seeds are fully coated.
Once your seeds are coated, you’ll need to spread them out on a microwave safe plate so they can evenly cook in the microwave. Microwave the seeds on high for about 7 or 8 minutes.
Again, the time may vary depending upon your appliance. So you may have to play around with the times the first few times you use this method.
However, be sure to stir pumpkin seeds around every 2 minutes or so. If not, you could potentially have unevenly cooked pumpkin seeds. Some parts could be undercooked while other parts are burnt.
So to help the even cooking process along, use a fork or spoon to shuffle the seeds around a bit.
4. Add Some Flavor
After the seeds have cooked in the microwave, it is time to add some flavor to them. The obvious choice here is to add salt. Add as much as suits your taste buds, but I recommend starting with a sprinkle.
One thing my mother-in-law told me I’ll never forget. When cooking, you can always add to the dish, but once it’s in the dish you can’t take it out.
So add spices sparingly until you figure out which ones you really like. As mentioned above, you could use chili powder and cumin. Or you could also use Italian seasoning to add a little different flavor.
I’ve never tried it, but I’m sure you could turn these pumpkin seeds into a salty and sweet treat too if you’d like by adding some sugar and cinnamon to them. It’s all about your pallet and what you’d like.
5. Cool, Eat, and Store
Once you’ve got all of your flavorings added to the pumpkin seeds you’ll need to allow them to cool so you don’t burn your mouth when trying to eat them.
However, once they are cool go to town enjoying them! But if you made more than you can eat in one sitting, be sure to store them in your fridge or in an air-tight container on your pantry shelf.
Remember, pumpkin seeds will last a year in the refrigerator and 3 months in an air-tight container on a pantry shelf.
So now that you know how to fix your own pumpkin seeds, I’m sure that they won’t go to waste anymore or will they all be saved for planting next year’s harvest.
But I’d like to know how you prepare your pumpkin seeds? What mixtures of seasonings do you use? What methods do you use to prepare them? Do you use one that I didn’t mention here? If so, how do you do it?
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