Looking for a delicious way to kick up flavorful pumpkin seeds to enjoy this Fall?
Kick up flavorful pumpkin seeds by sprinkling a little bit of yummy seasoning before baking them. Because pumpkin seeds can make great snacks, but they can seem a bit dull in the taste department.
They don’t have to be. Don’t resort to purchasing extra salty pumpkin seeds from a convenient store because you’re craving a salty snack. If you have the pumpkins, you have the seeds. And there are many ways to kick up flavorful pumpkin seeds. I’m only discussing one possible way using a seasoning we love and have on hand. And I will share some other possible options for seasonings with you as well if you read on.
And if you have decided to bake pumpkin seeds as a yummy snack, you’ve committed to providing a healthy snack for your family. Here’s why.
A Healthy Natural Snack
I’m always looking for fresh, healthy snacks I can make for my family using ingredients I already have on hand. And pumpkin seeds are just that. They are a great source of protein, vitamins, fats and minerals. An obvious choice as a snack I should make from farm fresh produce.
So, I roast the pumpkin seeds in the oven. But first, I always season to kick up flavorful pumpkin seeds. Because my family doesn’t like “blah”. And that’s simply what unseasoned pumpkin seeds are. Blah blah blah.
And I wanted my family to eat them as well, because they are a healthful snack. I just needed to season them up and make them tasty – I felt it necessary to kick up flavorful pumpkin seeds. But first, here’s how to get pumpkin seeds fresh.
How to Get Pumpkin Seeds
There is one way to get fresh pumpkin seeds. From the pumpkin, of course!
But there are two ways to get pumpkins. You can either visit local pumpkin patches to buy or obtain pumpkins. Or you can grow them yourself.
I love to buy pumpkins from local pumpkin patches. My pumpkin seeds usually come directly from the pumpkins we find at the local pumpkin farms. We always have so much fun visiting local pumpkin patches. Not only to find pumpkins. But visiting and supporting other peoples’ backyard business.
Growing pumpkins is also a fairly easy way to obtain pumpkins. You can grow extra and sell the pumpkins as a business venture for you and your family. Growing pumpkins isn’t too difficult either. You just need a little bit of room for a couple of hills in some good quality soil.
Pumpkin plants also require a lot of water and sunlight. Watch out for those squash bugs – They can really wreck havoc on your pumpkin plants.
Finally, they need to be planted around the end of June to be ready the end of September. Then, they are ready to be picked when they are a nice bright orange color. Choosing great pumpkins to carve in the Fall is a highlight for the whole family, but especially for the kids.
How to Let Kids Help
Make great memories by letting the kids help with the processing of the pumpkins. The day after we bring pumpkins home, we carve them. I fish out all the pumpkin guts and seeds. My daughter loves to help with this part because she can get messy.
Then, I assign her on the task of separating the seeds from the guts. Her little attention span was distracted in no time, so I complete the tedious job of separating the seeds.
Fresh seeds go in one bowl, unused pumpkin guts go into another. Don’t fret! You should have to waste unused pumpkin. Here are a couple of things you can use the unused pumpkin for.
What To Do With Extra Unused Pumpkin
After separating the seeds, you’ll have pumpkin goop and the outer shell left over. Don’t just throw it away! Make jack ‘o’ lanterns. Use it as decoration if it’s still a pretty pumpkin. You can carve shapes or faces into it and make it scary or fun.
Or feed it to animals. Cattle, goats, and pigs love pumpkin. And there’s a rumor that pumpkin is a natural de-wormer for goats, so there’s a plus as well. I’m not sure it that’s true or not, but they eat it and I know it’s good for them.
Internal pumpkin goop can be used to make your favorite pumpkin treats, such as pies, cookies and cheesecakes. Yum! You’ll need to get rid of a lot of that liquid first by using a cheesecloth. I usually set mine in the fridge overnight and let it drain for as long as possible. Then, pop it into a freezer bag and freeze until you’re ready to use it.
There’s a lot of good nutritional qualities of pumpkin. Especially in the seeds. So, here’s how to kick up flavorful pumpkin seeds to bake and enjoy.
How to Prepare Seeds to Bake and Eat
Ok. Back to the seeds. Once the seeds are separated, I put them into a large strainer to wash them. It’s important to remove all the pumpkin residue from the seeds.
Next, boil the pumpkin seeds. If your pumpkin seeds are from big jack-0-lantern pumpkins and regular sized or larger seeds, they can be boiled in a salt water mixture. Smaller seeds can also be boiled but not for as much time as they are a softer seed. Just use your best judgement depending on how you like the texture of your seeds.
Boiling pumpkin seeds in salt water not only begins the process to kick up flavorful pumpkin seeds, but it also makes them cleaner and safer to consume.
The ratio of salt and water to seeds is two cups of water and one tablespoon of salt for every half cup of pumpkin seeds. I usually use four cups of pumpkin seeds in my pot.
Then, using a little bit of easy peasy math, I boil my seeds in eight cups of water and four tablespoons of salt. I may or may not have thrown in a pinch or two more of salt to season them a little more. The main thing is not to use too much salt, especially if you are using an additional seasoning before you bake.
Finally, drain the hot seeds and laid them out on a baking sheet sprinkled with Olive Oil. Shake the seeds around a bit in the pan to coat them in the Olive Oil. Coating the pumpkin seeds in olive oil also allowed the yummy seasoning to stick on them a little bit more. And now you’re ready to kick up flavorful pumpkin seeds.
Seasoning Your Pumpkin Seeds
The flavor I love using for my pumpkin seeds is BBQ. I use the same seasoning we use to flavor all our meat for grilling. Head Country.
Head Country seasoning makes all food taste amazing. It gives the special kick needed to keep you asking for more – which is always my hope for these pumpkin seeds.
So, sprinkle seasoning over the seeds, coating them. Then, turn them over using a spatula and coated the other side. It smells as amazing as it was going to taste.
The pumpkin seeds roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Check the seeds often after 20 minutes and continue baking until the seeds are as crunchy as you like. They should be crunchy and full of BBQ flavor. Delicious!
Other flavors you could use to kick up flavorful pumpkin seeds include:
- Ranch Packet
- Pumpkin Spice (Use Pumpkin Pie Spice and Cinnamon)
- Other flavor you might enjoy or want to try.
Really, the possibilities are endless. Just use what you have and make it fun. Think about what your family might like and go for it. You never know what you’ll come up with when you kick up flavorful pumpkin seeds from “blah” to “AHH!”.
Keeping Pumpkin Seeds Fresh
To be quite honest, the shelf life of fresh baked pumpkin seeds is fairly low. So, you and your family will want to consume them within a week or two.
Keep pumpkin seeds fresh and crunchy by storing them in tightly sealed labeled zip lock baggies or airtight containers until ready to eat. Refrigerate for up to two weeks and enjoy when desired.
If pumpkin seeds are getting to be too soggy or have an off-taste, discard immediately. Always make sure you are providing the safest quality farm fresh snack for your family. Food safety is always first priority when preserving produce and enjoying it later.
An Easy Healthy Farm Fresh Snack
Pumpkin seeds can be a delicious healthy snack for your family this Fall. They are great little snacks to carry in baggies for road trips, in the harvest field or the ball field.
They are packed with nutrients, such as protein, vitamins and minerals for busy Fall schedules. You can be sure your family is fueling up on these fun tiny snacks while enjoying all the activities of Fall.
And there are many ways to kick up flavorful pumpkin seeds to help your family enjoy them more and more.
Head Country was the perfect potion to kick up flavorful pumpkin seeds into a fun BBQ tasting treat. You can make pumpkin seeds sweet or savory as well. The possibilities are endless with this versatile seed that is popular and easy to obtain this time of year. So, have a great time trying out ways to kick up flavorful pumpkin seeds with your fresh farm grown pumpkins.
What is your favorite way to kick up the flavor of pumpkin seeds?
~ Much Love ~