Don’t you just love the way nature often gives you seasonal food to help your body at that particular time of year? For example, take pumpkins which are abundant in autumn and winter. Their seeds are packed full of zinc, an important mineral which helps your body build immune cells to help you fight off infections and diseases. If you catch a cold, increasing your zinc intake can help your body fight off the cold germs.
Here is an easy recipe for roasting pumpkin seeds (also called ‘Pepitas’). You can adjust the seasonings to your taste to make them either salty, spicy or sweet (or a combination). They are delicious sprinkled on top of a salad or soup, or just munched on their own.
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
Pumpkin seeds scooped out of a raw pumpkin
Extra virgin olive oil
Any seasonings such as salt, pepper, chilli powder, paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, cinnamon powder, etc…
- Preheat the oven to 300F/150C.
- Scoop the pumpkin seeds out of a raw pumpkin, and rinse them well in water to remove any pulp which is sticking to the pumpkin seeds. This can be done by placing the pumpkin seeds in a colander and running water over them. Rub the seeds with your fingers to remove the pulp. (It is important to remove all the pulp so that it does not burn in the oven when you roast the seeds.)
- Spread the pumpkin seeds on a cloth tea-towel to air-dry the water off of them. I prefer not to use a paper towel because the pumpkin seeds sometimes stick to the paper once dry.
- Once the pumpkin seeds are dry, toss them with some olive oil and salt (since different pumpkins have different amounts of seeds, you need to use your judgment to decide how much oil and salt seems right). You can also add in other seasonings like garlic powder, paprika powder, or cayenne powder. Alternatively, you can make the pumpkin seeds sweet by tossing them with olive oil, brown sugar and cinnamon powder.
- Place the seasoned pumpkin seeds in the oven, tossing every 10 minutes. They can take between 25 and 45 minutes to roast. Remove from the oven when they are dry and crunchy.
- Once cool, you can store the pumpkin seeds in an airtight container in the refrigerator for upto 2 months.