Pumpkin seeds are a common casualty of the home cook each fall. In most cases these nutritious – and tasty – scraps are chucked into the compost bin. But these humble castaways deserve to be reconsidered; pumpkin seeds are packed with nutrients, including heart-healthy magnesium, omega-3 fats, zinc, antioxidants, and lots of fiber.
Along with eating the seeds with seasonings and other flavorings, they make great crunchy additions to soups, tacos, granola, and salads.
Take advantage of the pumpkin seeds from your carvings with these five healthy recipes:
Butternut Squash, Kale, and Crunchy Pepitas Tacos
These tacos use fried pumpkin seeds (“pepitas” in Spanish) as a healthy, crunchy exclamation point atop a seasonally-appropriate fall taco with sweet squash and earthy kale. This recipe also happens to be vegan, but it won’t feel like a sacrifice for non-vegans.
Winter Squash Soup with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
This easy soup makes a fantastic weeknight meal; it’s hearty but quick to make, and roasted seeds add a crunchy dimension to the velvety soup.
Pumpkin Seed Pesto
There are plenty of ways to get creative with your pesto, and this fall is a great time to try a version with pumpkin seeds. This version involves cilantro and garlic, and it goes great on sandwiches, pasta, or just drizzled over roasted fall vegetables.
Pumpkin Seed Granola
If you’re a granola fiend, it’s worth trying to make your own, which is more cost-effective (and customizable) than buying in the store. This recipe is grain-free and full of healthy seeds.
Six Great Pumpkin Seed Snacks
These six recipe ideas put tasty twists on your traditional roasted pumpkin seeds, including ranch, dill pickle, and cinnamon sugar.
Tips for Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
Scoop the seeds from the pumpkin and wash them thoroughly. Arrange them in a single layer on a pan and bake at 250 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until dry and crunchy.