It’s winter squash season, and that means – Pumpkin Seeds!
Shamelessly (or savvy-ly, some might say), at the AOC kitchens, we toast every squash seed we come in contact with: Acorn Squash, Butternut Squash, Sugar Pie Pumpkin… why throw out something whose potential is to be one of the ultimate snack foods?
There are a lot of blogs out there that claim to have the “easy method” for removing seeds from their stringy squash tethers. We’ve tried them all. And we’ve come to the conclusion that, if you want to make toasted pumpkin seeds at home, you have to accept its a labor of love.
That being said, here are our best tips for Pumpkin Seed Perfection:
- Use a grapefruit spoon to scoop seeds from squash
- Lay seeds (in all their squash-strings) on a plate or sheet tray and refrigerate uncovered overnight. This will dry out the strings slightly and make it easier to separate from the seeds
- Holding the seed-squash mass in one hand, use your fingers on the other hand to pluck out seeds, transferring to a bowl with water. Resist the need to get every last string of squash.
- Once all of the seeds are in the bowl of water, remove any strings that have floated to the top, and slip the seeds through your fingers and into a colander to catch any last bits of string you can. Drain well.
- While the seeds are still wet, toss with fine sea salt. We love Eden Organic Fine French Sea Salt. (If you want to add any seasoning, such as smoked paprika, jalapeno powder, ground coriander, or dried herb mix, this is the best step.)
- Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Try not to crowd the pan. This increases bake time significantly.
- Bake in 300 degree oven for 20 minutes until golden brown, baking longer as necessary to achieve desired color and crunch.
- Cool completely and transfer to an airtight container to store.