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. 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?).
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!
Thanks so much for stopping by, I really appreciate it! I had a chance to browse your blog…it’s fantastic! Love all the pumpkins! Hope you had a great Hallowe’en!
Thanks so much, Sheryl. We had a great night!
We made toasted pumpkin seeds last night, with just olive oil and salt. Delicious!
Yum! Makes me wish I had another pumpkin so I could toast more seeds…. 🙂
very interesting recipe and info!
Sounds like a yummy twist on roasted pumpkin seeds! And good info as well.
Thanks so much! And yes, they’re quite yummy! Definitely recommended! 🙂
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!
Oh, I hear you about basil addictions! 😉 I love pumpkin seeds roasted with salt as well; this recipe takes them up a pleasant notch.
That was really interesting reading, I enjoyed learning how to avoid future freaky traits ! Thanks for following my blog! Nice to meet you Sherly! : )
Pleased to meet you as well, Kathryn! I look forward to following all of your future posts! Have a wonderful weekend!
Thank you Sheryl !
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!
Thanks so much, I really appreciate it! I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!
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!
Thanks for the recipe!!
You’re welcome – I hope you get a chance to try it and enjoy it! Have a wonderful week! 🙂
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
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! 🙂
Very inyersting post.If you want to plant seeds of the pumpin you only needs a big box en you will see it’s enough
I usually end up planting zucchini instead of pumpkins, and they take up so much space – I barely have enough room for my other crops! Maybe next year I’ll try container zucchinis, and pumpkins will be on my planting list! 🙂
I love them so much, they remind me of my childhood 🙂 Thanks for following my blog, I hope you enjoy it as much as I liked yours!
Thanks for, liking, my post on Elm Drive Images. Thanks for the education on Pumpkin Seeds too.
Sheryl: Thanks for following, Elm Drive Images.
Thanks for the like on mh, FrostyBackyard at, Elm Drive Images.
An interesting and informative post, I have not thought of roasting the seeds, one to try. When I store seeds in the fridge I always add a few grains of rice to help absorb the moisture.
That is such a great tip – I have not tried that! Thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks for taking time away from your writing to visit my blog!