Happy fall and welcome to Flawed yet Functional! This whole month I am focused on all things pumpkin when it comes to new recipes (Paleo Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Pancakes). After carving pumpkins with my kids earlier this month, I gave a go at roasting pumpkin seeds or pepitas, and it was delicious. My kids are hooked! Save your pumpkin seeds for this easy roasted pepitas recipe!
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Pepitas vs. Pumpkin Seeds
I have bought roasted pepitas several times, mostly as an ingredient in our homemade trail mix or to mix into our paleo breakfast cereal. I knew they were pumpkin seeds, but I assumed there were two different kinds of pumpkin seeds because they’re always green in the store not white.
Did you know that the green pepitas are just the shelled version of the whole pumpkin seed? Mind blown! Green pepitas, white pepitas, or white pumpkin seeds, it’s all the same thing. No way!
Roasted pepitas with the shell still on are a little bit chewier and have more fragments when you chew them, but they are simple to make and have tons of good nutrients in them. I don’t bother with the hassle of shelling them, we all like them with the shells on.
Why Roast Pumpkin Seeds?
I used to think roasting pepitas or pumpkin seeds would be a ton of work. Now that I have done it successfully, hindsight tells me it really wasn’t that bad. It may seem like it when you get started when you have a pile of seeds and pulp staring at you. However, it really only takes 10 minutes or so to separate the pulp from the seeds.
And then I didn’t even roast the seeds right away! I put them in a glass storage container in the fridge for a couple of days before I took the time to roast them. So don’t stress yourself out to cook the seeds right away. You’ve got time! If there really isn’t that much time involved, why else should you roast your own pepitas?
The first reason I think it’s important to roast your own pepitas is to reduce waste. Rather than feed them to the garbage, make them into a delicious snack!
Teach Kids to Appreciate all Parts of a Vegetable
Teaching my kids to appreciate food and using everything up is one thing I try to teach my kids. Since my husband and I have taught them about composting, gardening, and hunting, they regularly ask me
“can we eat that part?” I love being able to tell them “yes, you can eat that part.” There are so many parts of plants that are edible if we take the time to learn how to prepare to eat them.
Reduce Chemical and Preservative Exposure
Sure, you could buy roasted pepitas from the grocery store. They might even be seasoned exactly the same as you would make them at home. However, through the packaging process, you would be getting more chemicals and preservatives in your roasted pepitas then you would have at your house. In fact, when you roast pepitas in your house, there are no additional chemicals or preservatives. Pure and clean pepitas! (well, at least aside from the sugar you might put out them as I do in this recipe!)
Homemade is Just Better
I had a co-worker who once asked me why I made soup at home. He reasoned the soup in the store was just as good as homemade. I’m working on a post that flat-out proves this wrong, and I hope you know the truth that homemade anything is always better.
In this situation, homemade pepitas are always better than those from the store. The food is fresher, seasoned properly, and cooked to your liking. Make it at home!
How to Roast Raw Pumpkin Seeds
The process of roasting raw pumpkin seeds is really simple. Once you have removed the pulp and seeds from the pumpkin or squash, pull out the pumpkin seeds and place them in a fine mesh strainer. Don’t worry if you have a little bit of flesh still stuck to them, it tastes just fine once it’s roasted!
Next, toss the pumpkin seeds with a little oil and seasoning stir it up and bake, stirring every 15 minutes until your desired level of crispy is reached. It’s really that simple! This is a tasty snack that anyone can make.
How to Store Roasted Pepitas
Storing roasted pepitas is really quite simple, just put them in an airtight container and leave them on the counter short term for refrigerator long-term. My pepitas have been on the counter for about a week, and they are fresh and crispy as the day they were made. However, if you will not consume your pepitas within a week, you should put them in the fridge. Pumpkin seeds have natural oils that will go rancid if left on the counter for too long.
Do you need a tasty seasonal snack? Give these maple cinnamon roasted pepitas a try! If a sweet roasted pepita is not your jam, try just oil and salt or any other combination of dried spices that sounds tasty to you. These are versatile and easy to make. Try it today!
Maple Cinnamon Roasted Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)
Do you need a tasty, crunchy, Paleo-friendly snack? You've got to try these sweet and salty maple cinnamon roasted pepitas! They are simple to make and will please the whole family!
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds/pepitas
- 1.5 tsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt
In a medium mixing bowl, combine pepitas, olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Stir well to combine.
Pour pepitas onto the lined baking sheet. Spread out into a single layer.
Bake for 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, or until your desired level of crispiness is achieved.