The best part about pumpkin carving isn’t the funny design you create or that it can be a nice family bonding activity or even that it is suddenly socially acceptable to play with knives. The best part is the leftover seeds.
If you’re one of those people who just throws away those seeds, here are five ideas for making use of those tasty (and healthy) leftovers.
Seasoned and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
This is the easiest – and perhaps most addictive – way to dress up pumpkin seeds. After cleaning them from pumpkin debris. Soak them in water for 10 minutes. Season the seeds with olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and seasoning salt. Garlic powder is also a great choice. Bake at 325F for 10 minutes. Serve them at parties instead of chips, or devour them on your own as you watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Kensington.
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
You don’t need to go to candy stores to get your sweet fix. Pumpkin seeds can be a nutritious ingredient in homemade Halloween treats. All you need to make pumpkin seed brittle is butter, brown sugar, honey and toasted pumpkin seeds, and you’re left with a sweet, irresistible candy, courtesy of Martha Stewart’s recipe. Or, buy organic pumpkin tarts with crme fraiche and pumpkin seed brittle from Sidewalk Citizen Bakery.
Pesto with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Use this pesto like you would use your regular pesto: drizzled lightly on top of fish, tossed into pasta or thrown into a salad. Make sure all the seeds are shelled and roasted. Combine the seeds with parmesan, garlic, basil leaves, olive oil and lemon juice in a food processor, and pulse. If you don’t want to make it yourself, The Ranche Restaurant sometimes serves a version of this with bison and elk.
Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix
For the mountain adventure-seekers who snack on granola, save the seeds and add them to your homemade muesli. Combine your leftover seeds with rolled oats, dried fruit, coconut, almonds and flax. Add chocolate chips if you want some real oomph.
Sprinkle Them on Muffins
While topping your muffins with butter and brown sugar to make a crumbly streusel topping is delightful, save and clean your pumpkin seeds for a crunchy topping instead. Pumpkin seeds contain heart-healthy magnesium, zinc and good cholesterol. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for streusel muffin topping. If you’re not in a baking mood, your local Co-op serves pumpkin muffins topped with pumpkin seeds.