What to Do with Pumpkin Seeds

Don't throw out your pumpkin seeds — instead, try these cooking ideas

Pumpkin seeds add a nice crunch and nutty flavor to dishes like this Healthy Potato, Spinach, and Pumpkin Seed Hash.

Carving a pumpkin is lots of fun and a great way to get the kids to exercise some creativity away from the TV. But, what do you do with the "guts" afterward? It seems like such a waste to throw them out.

Click here to see the What to Do with Pumpkin Seeds Slideshow

That's why we've come up with some delicious and nutritious ways to use up all those pumpkin seeds so that they don't just end up in the compost. But first, you'll need to clean them up.

Carly Taylor, author of createliveblog, has a great way to separate the seeds from the pulp. She writes:

"Use an ice cream scooper (or large spoon) to scoop out seeds and string, etc., and place in a strainer.

Put the mess of seeds and 'pumpkin guts' into a bowl of water. Using your hands, try to separate the seeds from the other disposable material. Generally, you can pinch the seeds right where they are attached to the orange pulp of the pumpkin and the seeds will fall off. Once you've done this, the seeds should float, which makes them easier to separate. Lay out the seeds on parchment paper to dry for 1 day."

Generally, the seeds are eaten as is. Some recipes, however, may call for "shelled" or "hulled" pumpkin seeds, in which case you'll want to try the following method:

  1. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting.
  2. Lay out the seeds in a single layer on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  3. Dry them out for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and cover with another piece of parchment paper.
  5. Tap the hulls gently with a wooden or meat mallet, or the back of a pan, with just enough force to split them open without crushing the interior.
  6. Place in a bowl of water and the hulls will float to the top.

Will Budiaman is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman