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What can I do with Pumpkin Seeds?

By S. Mithra
Updated May 17, 2024
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Pumpkin seeds are a delicious and nutritious snack when salted and roasted. They provide numerous vitamins and minerals, such as amino acids, carbohydrates, fatty acids, zinc, and B vitamins. Most people toss the seeds out with the stringy pulp after Halloween, but they can be salvaged. For anyone willing to venture out of the kitchen, pumpkin seeds are a great low cost craft supply for children's art projects.

A popular snack can be made with pumpkin seeds by roasting them. As best as possible, they should be cleaned of the sticky strings and pulp that stick to them from the pumpkin's insides. The seeds should be rinsed briefly in a colander, then allowed to dry by spreading them flat on wax paper. To cook them, the seeds should be arranged in a single layer on a cookie sheet greased with butter, olive oil, or any vegetable oil. They can then be baked in a preheated oven at 250-325° F (120-163° C) until they are golden brown and fill the kitchen with a fragrant smell.

Many people prefer spicier pumpkin seeds. They can be soaked in saltwater overnight before roasting to better infuse the salt. Sprinkling them with cayenne pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, soy sauce, garlic salt, curry or Worcestershire sauce will add bite and flavor. Roasting the seeds in a skillet can work, too. Over medium heat, small batches can be cooked until they begin to dance and pop.

Usually, pumpkin seeds are eaten with the hull intact, unlike peanuts or sunflower seeds. The hull contains much of the nutrients, and its fibrous texture clears out the digestive track. Of course, the seeds can be shelled one by one, but it's probably not worth the trouble. Store-bought, pre-shelled pumpkin seeds are called pepitas.

Children are often attracted to beans, rice, seeds, and nuts as organic mosaic materials. A bowl of dried pumpkin seeds, a rainbow of tempera paints, white glue, and several sheets of poster board can entertain kids or a whole classroom for an afternoon. The beautiful results can be tacked on a bulletin board or refrigerator door.

Children can dip bunches of seeds in plastic cups of paint and dry them on newspaper. They could also attach the seeds to the paper first and paint everything afterward. Even young artists can form sunbursts, outlines, or confetti patterns with the elliptical shapes. More experienced painters might incorporate the three-dimensional seeds with the flat paper to create portraits of pets, trees, or siblings.

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Discussion Comments
By anon120314 — On Oct 20, 2010

I would like to know how to hull pumpkin seeds at home. Thanks. - Gail

By ivanka — On Jun 14, 2008

Pumpkin seeds contain a fair amount of zinc, a little over 2mg per 28g (1 oz) of roasted seeds. Zinc is know to help reduce the duration of the common cold.

One ounce (28g) of roasted seeds with no salt added contains 148 calories, 1g of fiber and 12g of fat.

By anon2442 — On Jul 11, 2007

I would like to know the calorie count, fat count, and fiber count of pumpkin seeds. I munch on them all day!

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