Thursday, October 6, 2011

Gourmet Pumpkin Seeds

Any time you see anything online that involves carving a pumpkin, purchasing pumpkin or cooking pumpkin I always see the same thing... Save the seeds!!

I admit, I have never saved the seeds. I have never roasted my own seeds. Mostly because I didn't want to clean them. It looked labour intensive and kind of icky. However, being that it is Vegan MoFo time and I just cooked a pumpkin rather than buying a can of pumpkin, I figured it was time to try it and see why everyone is into this.

There is definitely nutritional benefits to eating pumpkin seeds. I did some searching online and found that they are really beneficial to prostate health. While that doesn't apply to me so much, any male readers out there... good to know! They are also a great source of minerals which you can tell all your non vegan friends when they ask about how we stay healthy without eating meat. They are rich in magnesium, manganese and phosphorus, and a good source of iron, copper, protein and zinc. Not bad for one little seed.

So I know most people out there have roasted pumpkin seeds before... I thought I would try to jazz things up a bit and do gourmet pumpkin seeds. On the snack menu tonight? Pumpkin seeds three ways. Pumpkin pie, curry lime and italiano

Each take about 30 minutes total, but only about 5 minutes of actual work.

Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Curry Lime Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarse kosher or sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Italiano Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 300 F. get a cookie sheet and oil or spray it. You can also line it with parchment and spray that if you have it. I didn't.

For each of these, mix the dry ingredients and wet together (for the curry flavouring, mix the wet and the dry ingredients separately and the mix together). Next add the pumpkin seeds (each recipe will work for about a cup of seeds each).

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven and cool. They should have a golden colour to them. 

I have now tested each of these. I think my favourite is the Italian. I am not sure if it was that I was craving salt.. but these had the least intense flavour and I think that the natural taste of pumpkin seeds with the garlic and salt was what I was after. I didn't have quite enough seeds for the curry flavouring that I made. While I think that the seasoning was good and went great with the seeds, I just had too much on them! I should have halved the seasoning before tossing. Ah well, lesson learned!

Another good idea for pumpkin seeds?  I through some of the Italian ones into my magic bullet with oil lemon, salt and agave and the result was a great tasting salad dressing!

Have you got a favourite seasoning for roasting pumpkin seeds? Do tell! Now that I have made them once, I am hooked. Home roasted seeds are 100% better than store-bought. Isn't that always how it is? I guess it's the reward for doing the work yourself.


  1. Pumpkin seeds ROCK! I love them, I love them more than pumpkin which is why I don't get to roast my own that often (not being a pumpkin fan) but I always do when I get the chance. I'm glad you've broken through that barrier of too hard/too labour intensive 'cos they really are so easy and so delicious and akin to getting free stuff right?
    I'm loving all your ideas, to be honest I just roast mine with some salt.
    I LOVE salt.

  2. I can't believe I have never bothered to make them before today!

    I am with you... salt.. yum.. my weakness! It didn't take much to make them, just a few extra spices. I want to try pesto, but did not have basil. Next time!

    Thanks for reading.

  3. I usually just go for salt and pepper but those curry ones have to be tried!

  4. Clare - they do, they are really good. Careful not to burn them. They cooked a bit quicker than the other flavours!

  5. I took a night off from cooking yesterday and went out for dinner. My friend James ensured me that he found a really good vegan-friendly restaurant that had to be tried.
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  6. if I wish that everyone else would join me, I know that can't control that. So I take charge of myself and I am thankful that I can do that. I am not going to hide at home on these meat-fests. I am going to be out there making sure everyone around me knows I have good food too.
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