We’re all probably a little too familiar with the mess that is otherwise known as cleaning out the inside of a pumpkin to prepare it for being carved, but how often do those insides end up in the trash? If you haven’t previously considered ways to use pumpkin seeds in other recipes, now is the time to reconsider all of the possibilities these vitamin packed seeds have to offer.
The first step to saving and using seeds from a pumpkin is to place them in a colander and thoroughly rinse them off. Once you’ve done that, spread them out on a sheet pan lined with paper towels so that the seeds can dry. Every now and then, shake the pan to move the seeds around. Once they’ve dried thoroughly, they’re ready to be incorporated into any of the ideas below or any of your favorite recipes that you think pumpkin seeds might be a good addition to.
Don’t be afraid to get creative!
1. Mix Up A Healthy Granola
If you’re into making your own trail mixes or breakfast granolas, try adding in some roasted and salted pumpkin seeds to the mix for an extra healthy boost.
2. Bake Banana Bread
One of the most delicious ways to use pumpkin seeds is to bake them into your favorite banana bread recipe with a dash of cinnamon.
3. Give Your Avocado Toast A Crunchy Topping
Roasted pumpkin seeds that have been tossed in your favorite seasoning are a delicious add-in ingredient to kick your morning avocado toast up just a notch.
4. Make A Healthy Salad Dressing
Blend pumpkin seeds with extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, shallot, dijon mustard and a bit of honey for a creamy pumpkin seed vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Add Them to A Cheese and Charcuterie Board
There’s something about sprinkling roasted pumpkin seeds over a charcuterie and cheese board that just seems to kick it up a little and make it feel a little bit more exciting.
6. Garnish Soups and Sauces
Tossing some pumpkin seeds onto a soup, sauce or dip as a garnish is an easy way to liven it up. Try it on both homemade and store-bought dips.
7. Give Almost Anything a Healthy Crunch
For all of us who like a little extra crunch in our quinoa or on top of our salads, pumpkin seeds provide just the right amount of it while giving you a healthy little punch of extra fiber.
8. Pumpkin Seeds for Breakfast!
Whether it’s omelets or pancakes that you fancy, or perhaps it’s even a bowl of cereal, consider adding in pumpkin seeds for a morning energy boost. You can even add them to your favorite breakfast quiche recipe.
9. Kick Up Your Pesto Recipe
Classic pesto recipes may very well use pine nuts, but what’s stopping you from replacing those with pumpkin seeds instead? Substitutions are among the easiest ways to use pumpkin seeds in the recipes that you already love.
10. Give Your Morning Smoothie a Pumpkin Spice Boost
Toss some cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric and pumpkin seeds into the blender when you make your next vanilla smoothie for a healthy take on a pumpkin spice drink.
11. A New Twist On Cornbread
If you’ve never tried getting creative with cornbread, perhaps now is the time to give it a whirl. Just add some pure pumpkin, red onion and pumpkin seeds to your favorite cornbread recipe to put a new spin on a classic.
12. Make Some Spiced Caramel Brittle
Who doesn’t love caramel brittle?! Another of the fun ways to use pumpkin seeds is to toss them into salted caramel brittle with some chopped walnuts or cashews and just a bit of cayenne pepper for a kick.
13. Butternut Squash Enchiladas
If you’re looking for ways to use pumpkin seeds in a vegetarian dinner recipe, try making up butternut squash enchiladas and top them with avocado, bell pepper, onion and roasted pumpkin seeds.
14. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
For fans of roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and onions, your next move to step up the brussels game is garnishing them with roasted pumpkin seeds that have been tossed in oil, a touch of brown sugar and chili powder.
15. Pumpkin Seed Salsa
Anytime game day is approaching you’re probably on the hunt for a good salsa to go with those game day chips. Whether it’s spicy salsa, tomatillo salsa, guacamole salsa or mango salsa, these seeds add a fun flavor and crunch to your favorite salsa recipes. Just toss them in before serving!
However you choose to put the seeds from your pumpkins to good use, just remember that these seeds don’t have to be thrown in the trash every year. There are so many potential ways to use them that it can really be fun to experiment with different ideas, flavors and textures. The seeds from a pumpkin are both versatile and healthy, providing great sources of fiber, magnesium, zinc and Vitamin E.