The Fun Fall Ritual of DIY Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Carving a beauty for Halloween? Don’t let the gooey innards go to waste. Whipping up a batch of homemade pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas) isn’t as scary or as time consuming as you might think. The toasty, salty, and slightly sweet pumpkin seeds that result make a perfect fall snack. Plus, these little nutrient-rich handfuls contain tons of fiber (6 grams per half cup!), along with minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and iron.

Although store-bought pepitas are commonly found without the white seed husk, homemade versions lose little taste (and gain more fiber) by keeping the smooth white husk on the green seeds. In our opinion, they’re even more satiating!

Here’s how to make your own.

  1. Place the pumpkin’s stringy innards (strings, seeds, and all) in a large stainless-steel or plastic bowl. Add a good amount of water—enough to make the mixture soupy, which helps separate the seeds from the pulp. As you massage the mixture and seeds separate, clean them and place them in a second bowl.
  2. Give the cleaned seeds a second rinse so that no orange pulp remains. Discard the pulp (compost it, right?). Drain and then spread seeds on a kitchen cloth and pat dry to remove excess water. (At this point, some home cooks prefer to soak seeds overnight in salt water, but we like the quicker route, as follows.)
  3. In the same large bowl (rinsed and dried), for every 3 cups of pumpkin seeds, mix 2–3 tablespoons canola oil, coconut oil, or melted regular or vegan butter (or any oil that can withstand high heat) with ½ teaspoon sea salt. Then mix and match your favorite seasonings: garlic and onion powder; curry powder and cumin; or even ground cinnamon and ground ginger (substitute maple syrup or granulated sugar for most of the salt). Mix thoroughly to coat each seed.
  4. Spread seeds in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 20–30 minutes, gently shaking the pan or using a spatula to stir seeds every 5–10 minutes to promote even toasting and to prevent burning.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool for 20–30 minutes. We like to place the whole bowl right on the dining table, but the seeds will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 1–2 weeks.

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