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Versatile Pumpkin Seeds

Here’s a little Halloween trivia: Trick-or-treating began in the late 1930s. Back then, a little ghost or goblin was just as likely to get coins, nuts, toys, cakes and cookies as candy. My favorite Halloween treat wasn’t candy at all. It was my Mom’s home-roasted pumpkin seeds. It was a yearly delight. Then I grew up and moved to Texas where I soon discovered a world of recipes featuring this delicious, nutritious seed, mostly known as “pepitas.”

Pumpkins have been part of the traditional Native American diet for thousands of years. Every part was used for food including the seeds, which were also used for medicinal purposes. Their sweet, mild taste and nutritional value make them ideal for a modern, healthy American diet, too.

While you can purchase pumpkin seeds, it’s fun to roast your own too. Here’s our simple, no-fail recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. Here’s a spiffed-up version of Spicy Tamari Pumpkin Seeds. Using these basic recipes, get creative with spices such as curry, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. You can also add a little maple syrup or honey for a sweet treat.

Pumpkin seeds are so versatile you can eat them for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. Enjoy these great ideas:

Store pumpkin seeds in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to six months, or in the freezer for up to a year. Toasted and roasted seeds should always be kept cold as the oils are more susceptible to rancidity. If not refrigerated, keep them air-tight and use within six to eight weeks of purchasing.

Got a perfect purpose for pumpkin seeds? Let me know.