Next time you are at a pumpkin carving contest, bring a container to save those pumpkin seeds! You can roast them for a delicious and healthy snack. Before we get to the antioxidant rich recipe coming up, let’s talk about the benefits of eating pumpkin seeds.
First, pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein. You can get 17 grams of protein in one half cup of pumpkin seeds, which is close to the amount of protein found in 3 eggs!
Pumpkin seeds are packed full of minerals such as magnesium, zinc, copper, and manganese, which all help the immune system and keep your body running at its best.
The combination of protein, fiber, and healthy fats in these seeds will help keep you feeling full longer between meals. Top them on salads, granola, yogurt parfaits, or pasta dishes. Or keep them in a pre-portioned snack bag while you are on the go. Nature provided us with a perfect little package of nutrition, encased in a shell.
Try this recipe for Amazing Antioxidant Pumpkin Seeds, with turmeric, garlic, ground mustard and black pepper. Most recipes for roasted pumpkin seeds are topped with salt. This recipe uses salt when boiling the pumpkin seeds and only a fraction of this salt is absorbed in the seeds, making it a lower sodium roasted pumpkin seed recipe.
Once you get used to roasting your own pumpkin seeds, you can experiment with flavor combinations. Try sweet (cinnamon + clove + maple syrup), or spicy (chili powder + lime juice). Tell us your favorite flavor combination in the comments!
Recipe for Amazing Antioxidant Pumpkin Seeds
Serving size 1/4 cup (makes 4 servings)
1 small sugar pumpkin (makes about 1 cup of pumpkin seeds)
1 tsp. Olive Oil (or other vegetable oil)
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Turmeric
1/2 tsp. Ground Mustard
1/4 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp. Salt
- Cut open the top of the pumpkin. Scoop out the pumpkin seeds and wash them in cool water. A few leftover pumpkin strings left on the seeds won’t hurt, they add flavor.
- In a separate pot, bring 4 cups of water with 1/4 tsp. salt to a boil. Add the seeds and boil for 10 minutes. This preps them to roast evenly in the oven later. You can skip this part if you are short on time but the seeds may not get as crispy.
- Drain seeds from the water and lay them out on a towel to dry.
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Once the seeds are dry, toss them in olive oil until lightly coated.
- In a small bowl, mix garlic powder, turmeric, mustard seed, and ground black pepper. Toss well to coat each seed.
- Spread the seeds out on a baking sheet in one layer. Note: turmeric will stain baking sheets yellow, use parchment paper or foil to protect the pan. For extra crispy seeds, leave plenty of room around each seed for air to circulate.
- Bake the seeds, stirring them every 15 minutes. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until lightly golden on the edges.
- Let seeds cool on baking sheet – they will continue to crisp up. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!
Resources on CSUN Campus
If you would like to roast your own pumpkin seeds, fall is a great time to find pumpkins at the grocery store. You may be eligible to receive money to purchase food (including pumpkins) via Cal Fresh, which is a federally funded program available to low-income individuals. The CalFresh Program helps to improve the health and well-being of qualified households and individuals by providing them a means to meet their nutritional needs. For help with completing a Cal Fresh application on campus, stop by the CSUN Food Pantry during their open hours. More information can be found on the CSUNs Food Pantry website here.
April Diederich, RD, CSR