Don’t Throw These Seeds Away!

The sad thing about Halloween is all those seeds that get hauled out of the belly of the pumpkin and tossed in the trash. If you (unlike me) had the foresight to keep them and roast them – outstanding.  If not, buy them hulled and toss them (toasted) in this excellent grated fennel and carrot salad (below).

Why pumpkin seeds?  They are super high in protein, iron and a not-commonly-spoken-of-nutrient called manganese. If you believe the hype, pumpkin seeds can do everything from lower cholesterol to ward off prostate cancer and arthritis. At a minimum they’re super nutritious and a welcome change from the usual nuts in the line-up.

You might also see them called pepitas (their Spanish name) meaning “little seeds from squash”.

If you’re pulling them straight from the pumpkin, roast them with some oil and salt. You don’t need to hull them (bonus extra fiber though if you keep the hull on). When you buy them at the store, you’ll likely find them hulled. (The hull is white, the seed is green – which comes from the chlorophyll).  In order to preserve the nutrients, roast them at a low temp (about 100 degrees) for about 20 minutes.

You can whip this salad together in under 5 minutes and it only gets better after a day in the fridge when the veggies soften and the flavors of the dressing mingle. And that green foliage on top  – it’s the “hair” of the fennel bulb.

Get the recipe for Grated Carrot and Fennel Salad with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds.

Share any ideas you have for your fave ways to roast them or use them in your cooking …

And congrats to Kim D. and Sarah R., the two winners of the maple syrup giveaway!

Related Posts

Roasted Carrots with Dill and Ginger
Sauteed  Fennel with Olives and Tomatoes


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  • Gjrhine

    Restaurants float a few in soups. 

  • Anna

    When I was a kid and we carved pumpkins we would always roast the seeds, too, so hopefully not all of those seeds are getting thrown out! I also roast the seeds from winter squash. Before I cook the squash, I scoop out the seeds to roast, they are basically pumpkin seeds, too.

    • jmacncheese

      We did too, a fond childhood memory. And I also roast the seeds coming from any winter squash. Stops those wayward vines from cropping up in the compost!

  • Katie Perata

    I know it’s not super healthy, but this year I roasted my pumpkin seeds with a little butter, worchestershire sauce, and garlic powder and salt. Roasted at 300 for an hour. They are the best I’ve ever had.

  • Alyssa

    This ( has become my annual go to recipe for roasting pumpkin seeds. I omit the cayenne to reduce the heat for my 22 month old – who goes nuts for them, by the way. 

    And while we’re on the topic of seeds – we were recently inspired to roast ALL of our squash seeds (acorn, sweet dumpling, butternut, etc). It’s so easy, since I usually already have the oven on to roast the squash itself. I soak the seeds in a bit of salt water, toss with a little olive oil and tamari, and roast them for as long as it takes (maybe 10ish minutes?). They are a bit smaller and more tender than pumpkin seeds – and so delicious. I can’t believe I never thought to do this before!!

  • es4d

    the “trick” to having your roasted pumpkin seeds be the BEST “treat”…don’t rinse them! leave them kinda gutsy and slimy, little salt, pop ’em in the oven – i cuold eat them for DAYS! i’m almost tempted to get more pumpkins just to get the seeds again! lovely post michelle, as always! is there anything that can be done with the stringy bits?

    • Michelle Madden

      I agree with you about the no-washing part — good tip. As for the stringy bits, I toss them in the compost – have not yet come up with any better solution :)

  • Fred

    Excellent information….I had no clue they are so delicious and nutritious! Looked them up @ and they raved about them. Will get some in a few days, and thanks.

  • Elina (Healthy and Sane)

    This salad looks fantastic! I was so tired this year after hours of pumpkin carving, drinking and eating that a bag of goo covered pumpkin seeds went in the trash. I have pepitas in the freezer though, so I can’t wait to make this salad. It looks fantastic!