Tips for Preparing Pumpkin Seeds

While most stores sell pumpkin seeds, it is fun and easy to make your own. To do so, first remove the seeds from the pumpkin's inner cavity and wipe them off with a paper towel if needed to remove excess pulp that may have stuck to them. Spread them out evenly on a paper bag and let them dry out overnight.

You can, of course, purchase pumpkin seeds in the store. We would recommend purchasing organic raw pumpkin seeds and then light-roast them yourself.

Place the seeds (whether those you retrieved from the pumpkin or those you bought at the store) in a single layer on a cookie sheet and light roast them in a 160-170°F (about 75°C) oven for 15-20 minutes. This 20-minute roasting limit is important. In a recent study, 20 minutes emerged as a threshold hold time for changes in pumpkin seed fats. When roasted for longer than 20 minutes, a number of unwanted changes in fat structure of pumpkin seeds have been observed by food researchers. Roasting for no longer than 20 minutes will help you avoid these unwanted changes.

Interestingly, studies have shown that roasting temperatures of 194°F (90°C) or higher are often required to bring out the full nut-like aromas and flavors in pumpkin seeds. While we do not question this finding, we believe that the unsaturated fats in pumpkin seeds will be better preserved by roasting at this lower temperature — 160-170°F (about 75°C) — and that you will still be delighted by the aromas and flavors of the roasted seeds.

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