What to Do with Pumpkin Seeds Slideshow

1. Sex Up Your Vegetable Sides

Let's be honest — sometimes a side of vegetables might just seem like an afterthought. Vegetables are there to play their role as the healthy part of your meal, but it doesn't have to end there. Use pumpkin seeds to add a little crunch and extra nutty flavor to side dishes, just as former Top Chef contestant Candice Kumai has done with her Sexy Swiss Chard with Golden Raisins and Pumpkin Seeds Recipe.

2. Make a Healthy Snack

Carly Taylor, author of createliveblog, has come up with two fantastic alternatives to potato chips, cookies, and candy for midday snacking. If you find yourself in a pumpkin seed glut, try making some Wasabi Soy Pumpkin Seeds or Cajun Barbecue Pumpkin Seeds. Your taste buds will thank you.

3. Jazz Up Rice Pilaf

Rice pilaf, too, is a familiar weeknight favorite that could use a little extra inspiration sometimes. Use pumpkin seeds to great effect, like with this Rice Pilaf with Apples and Pumpkin Seeds Recipe from Jothan Yeager, who is The Bald Gourmet.

4. Take Puréed Soup to a Higher Level

Puréed soups, no matter how complex or intense their flavor, sometimes miss a crucial element in making a dish go from good to great: texture. Pumpkin seeds are fantastic in puréed soups for this reason, like with Suzanne Goin's Kabocha Squash and Fennel Soup with Crème Fraîche and Candied Pumpkin Seeds Recipe.

5. Give Trail Mix a Protein Boost

Dried or roasted pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of protein, vitamin K, iron, and copper, so they're a worthy addition to any trail mix, like with this Pumpkin Seed and Dried Cherry Trail Mix with Dark Chocolate Recipe from Claire Robinson.

6. Healthy Doesn't Have to Taste Healthy

Give healthy, nutritional powerhouses like this Potato, Spinach, and Pumpkin Seed Hash from Sodium Girl a flavor boost without tipping the calorie, fat, or sodium scales too much with some pumpkin seeds.

7. Turn Them Into a Crust

Yasmin Fahr

Pumpkin seeds make a wonderful crust when crunched up and used to coat fish like tilapia, trout, or salmon, like with this Mustard-Baked Salmon with Pumpkin Seed Crust Recipe.