Everyone knows that pumpkin is healthy, but research has proven that pumpkin seeds have quite a lot of nutritional value too. They contain minerals that can improve diabetes, liver function, immune system defense and a slew of other functions. Because seeds are generally hard to cook, here are some guidelines to help teach you how to bake pumpkin seeds for your next meal.
Why You Should Know How to Bake Pumpkin Seeds
The reason it’s important to know how to bake pumpkin seeds correctly is simple: they burn easily. Burning pumpkin seeds is a shame because they have many nutritional benefits. These seeds can provide your body with zinc, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids. Zinc boosts your body’s immunity and enhances all your senses. Magnesium regulates your energy, metabolism and bowels, while omega acids care for your heart.
How to Bake Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are notorious for cooking much too quickly. This is why you need to be extra cautious when learning how to bake pumpkin seeds for the first time.
You can either buy seeds already packaged or carve them out of a pumpkin. If you prefer to scoop them out of the pumpkin yourself, make sure you separate them from the flesh. Once separated, rinse the seeds in cold water to get rid of remaining pumpkin flesh and strings. You can also soak seeds overnight in salted water to eliminate the enzyme that often causes digestive difficulties for some.
How to Bake Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
- Ensure that seeds are dry before baking. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees or 350F. Place seeds in a cup and pour a tablespoon of cooking oil or melted butter. Add seasoning and coat evenly.
- Dash with salt. Mix well.
- Take a baking tray or sheet and spread seasoned pumpkin seeds evenly in a single layer.
- Bake seeds until their surface turns brown. This might take 40 to 55 minutes. To prevent burning, check and shake them around at 5-minute intervals.
- Remove from oven, set aside to cool and serve.
Broiling pumpkin seeds is also an effective way to prepare them after seasoning. Just look for the broil setting on your oven (it’s the setting that only uses the top element) and cook until brown. You can either remove seeds when they’ve browned, or turn them and cook them further until they are extra crispy.
Using a Pan
Prep and season pumpkin seeds as mentioned above. Instead of baking them in the oven, throw them in a pan coated with oil to roast. Stir frequently to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Using a Microwave Oven
Knowing how to bake pumpkin seeds in a microwave can save you a lot of cooking time. Season and lay out seeds in a single layer on a microwave-proof dish. Cook seeds on high heat at 1-minute intervals, shaking and stirring them every minute until they are brown and crispy.
Pumpkin seeds make tasty snacks and can also be used in soups, sauces and desserts. They are the perfect way to add a quick boost of nutrition to your meal. If you don’t have experience baking pumpkin seeds, remember to keep a close eye during cooking and stir them often to avoid burning.