Flowery Prose

Growing words….

Pumpkin seeds: How to save (and eat them, too)!

22 Comments

I received a small pumpkin in my CSA basket last week, and prepped it yesterday morning for decorating.  You would not believe the massive amount of seeds that came out of such a tiny cavity – I’ve bought much larger pumpkins in the past that didn’t even have a quarter of the seeds that this one did.

If you’re hoping to grow your own jack o’lanterns next year from seed you’ve saved, you’ll have to know how the pumpkin that you’re saving seed from was grown…or, more specifically, what it was bred with.  Pumpkin plants, like all other members of the genus Cucurbita, can cross-pollinate.  That means that each species of cucurbits can cross with plants within the same species – so, C. pepo such as zucchini (and some pumpkins) can cross with spaghetti squash, for example.  (Despite the pervasive myth, cucurbits cannot cross with cucumbers or any types of melon). This pollination mash-up will not show up as freaky traits in the current crop,  BUT it will affect future crops if the seed is saved.  To prevent this, you must either plant pumpkins in isolation, or hand-pollinate individual plants (which bees normally take care of) and keep the flowers enclosed in paper bags until the plants are past the pollination stage.

If you manage to get some true seed from your pumpkins, make sure you wash them well and dry them on a piece of paper towel.  Keep more than you think you will need, as not all of the seeds will germinate.  Set the drying seeds in a cool place for about a week, then place them in a paper envelope.  If you want to store the seeds in the fridge (a good place), punch some holes in the lid of a large plastic yogourt container and pack the seeds inside.  (The holes will keep moisture from condensing inside the container and is an excellent idea to use whenever you are  saving seeds).  Ensure you label the container with the date and the contents.

I don’t plan to grow pumpkins next year –  I simply don’t have enough room in my community garden plot for such large plants.   So, what better to do with a bounty of pumpkin seeds than to eat them?

Lime and Chili Pumpkin Seeds

Seeds from one pumpkin

3 tbsp freshly-squeezed lime juice

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp salt (if you have coarse salt, use that)

1/2 tsp chili powder

pinch cayenne pepper (if you like the spice!)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.  Combine all ingredients except seeds in a small bowl.  Carefully wash pumpkin seeds in cool water, removing all of the extra bits of pulp.  Dry the seeds thoroughly between several layers of paper towel and transfer to the bowl with the lime and chili.  Combine thoroughly and spread seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast seeds in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then remove pan and stir the seeds, spreading them out once again in a single layer. Place in oven for another 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool.  Enjoy!

Do you grow pumpkins in your garden?  Do you harvest any of them for jack o’lanterns?  (And, if so, do you eat the seeds?).

Happy Hallowe’en! 

About these ads

Author: Sheryl @ Flowery Prose

Sheryl Normandeau is a writer and gardening enthusiast living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in the foothills of the spectacular Rocky Mountains.

22 thoughts on “Pumpkin seeds: How to save (and eat them, too)!

  1. Thanks for the ping-back. I’m so happy to find your blog. One of my favorite bloggers, Boomdeeada (http://boomdeeadda.wordpress.com/) also lives in Alberta. I’m a huge fan of growing pumpkins and sunflowers, so lots of synchronicity here. Happy Halloween!

  2. We made toasted pumpkin seeds last night, with just olive oil and salt. Delicious!

  3. very interesting recipe and info!

  4. Sounds like a yummy twist on roasted pumpkin seeds! And good info as well.

  5. I’m not a gardener, other to support my basil addiction, but I do love some pumpkin seeds! Each Halloween, my son and I would clean and roast them and munch away happily. But only with salt. This recipe sounds yummy!

  6. That was really interesting reading, I enjoyed learning how to avoid future freaky traits ! Thanks for following my blog! Nice to meet you Sherly! : )

    Kathryn

  7. Thanks for following my garden blog – I don’t post often enough due to busy work schedule, but I like your blog & MUST follow you on Facebook for immediate updates!

  8. Before I retired, my first grade class would always explore a pumpkin. The cooks in our cafeteria actually baked the seeds for us, so the kids could get a real taste of pumpkin seeds. Bet they wouldn’t be allowed to do that today!

    • It’s too bad they can’t do that anymore, it’s a good experience for the children. (And a tasty treat, too!). :) Hopefully they still get a chance to learn about the seeds and the process of how the pumpkins grow!

  9. Hi Sheryl ,This sounds yummy! We usually carve 3 or 4 pumpkins and roast the seeds with salt. I might have to buy another pumpkin to try your recipe. Thanks for coming by uribotanicalgardens.wordpress.com
    Best,
    Gabrielle

    • The flavour is really quite nice with these – just slightly spicy and citrusy. Not a huge kick – although I suppose one could add more cayenne if desired. I hope you get a chance to try them this way!

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend! :)

I'm delighted to hear from you - thanks so much for your comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,355 other followers