Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: to Boil or not to Boil?

I am not really into sweet as much as savory; I love salty snacks!  I work at The Art Institute of California—San Diego and they are always delivering desserts that they whip up in class.  Luckily, dessert is not my thing mostly, so it is not hard to pass on.  Anyway, I have always loved roasted pumpkin seeds and have been enjoying them all my life.  I really only want to carve the pumpkin so that I can get the seeds out!  Today at work someone was carving a pumpkin and I jokingly asked them to save me the seeds—and they did!  Fresh snack without the work of carving

Okay let me get to the point here: when I look up recipes for pumpkin seeds half of them say to boil them in water first, half of them say to just bake right away.  Is the extra step of boiling the seeds really necessary?  It was time for me to find out.  Last week I did the whole boiling method and this is what I did:

Recipe One: The “Long” Way

Measure the pumpkin seeds in a cup measure. Place the seeds in a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to the pan for every half cup of pumpkin seeds. Add more salt if you would like your seeds to be saltier. Bring the salted water and pumpkin seeds to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat the bottom of a roasting pan with olive oil, about a tablespoon. Spread the seeds out over the roasting pan in a single layer. Bake on the top rack until the seeds begin to brown, 5-20 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds. Small pumpkin seeds may toast in around 5 minutes or so, large pumpkin seeds may take up to 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the pumpkin seeds so they don’t get over toasted. When nicely browned, remove the pan from the oven and let cool on a rack. Let the pumpkin seeds cool all the way down before eating.

“Long” Recipe I Used

Tonight I just did it the easy way and tossed in oil and salt, then baked (notice the lower temp, longer time).

Recipe Two: The Short Way

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

While it’s OK to leave some strings and pulp on your seeds (it adds flavor) clean off any major chunks.

Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the melted butter or oil and seasonings of your choice.

Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on baking sheet.

Bake for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

Short Recipe I Used

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And the result?  I was actually surprised to find out that…

you should take a few extra minutes to boil those seeds!  The seeds that I boiled first were a little bit more crunchy vs. chewy.  Both were good, but since it doesn’t take too much longer, you may as well take the extra step.  Let me know what you think.  Do you find boiling makes them crunchier?

Happy carving & snacking!

Xo K

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