With Halloween gone, now is the time to find those deals on pumpkins in the stores. You can make pumpkin puree with almost any pumpkin, but the holy grail of nutrition, is found in those pumpkin seeds.
Not all pumpkin seed recipes are healthy. Once you’ve added the butter or oil, and possibly an overload of salt, they become well…less heathy. Since I am a huge fan of pumpkin anything, and have been more mindful of ingredients and nutrition, I decided to come up with my own new flavors of pumpkin seeds!
Thankfully, I have a family that is open to trying new twists of their favorite foods. They know me by now. I rarely adhere to any recipe, and go rogue with my own ingredients. Sorta like the way I create props. Life is too short, not to be creative in everything we do. I hope you enjoy the flavor combos I’ve come up with.
What Makes These Pumpkin Seed Recipes Healthier
The recipes I’ve created uses little to no salt, or oil. They depend upon flavor combinations to give it the bang. Now, almost anyone can enjoy pumpkin seeds, without the guilt.
Crunchy, But Enjoyably Edible:
I’ve seen recipes that tout a boil method or drying method, that insists it’s the magic behind the crunchiest seeds. I’ve found super-hard crunchy seeds(with their casings) less enjoyable, and hard to swallow. I’m sure it doesn’t do justice to our digestive track, too. The recipes below gives the perfect crunch to eat the entire seed, without feeling like you’re chewing through hard cardboard. In a perfect world, we dry the seeds the night before baking. But I’ve done direct rinse, pat dry, to direct baking, with just a slightly less crunchiness.
Pumpkin Seed Recipe #1: Low or No Salt Cajun
- Raw pumpkin seeds, rinsed/drained in a strainer, left out overnight, if possible
- Low or no salt Cajun seasoning (or make you own)
- Low or no salt Worcestershire Sauce (or make your own)
- Baking spray, or a spritz bottle of a healthy oil
- A cookie sheet, covered in aluminum foil, big enough to allow seeds to spread in a single layer ( or use multiple sheets).
- A metal spatula for flipping seeds
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees
If your pumpkin seeds are still wet, pat them dry with a clean paper towel. Once you’ve covered your cookie sheet(s) with foil, spray just enough of the baking spray (or spritzed oil) to prevent sticking.
Spread out your seeds to be only one layer thick. Liberally, sprinkle the Cajun seasoning over the entire seed area. Then add a little more (because some flakes off during baking). Add at least 3 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce over the seeds. Mix it well through the seeds, flipping them to ensure they are covered. Spread out the seeds flat again, single layer. Give another spritz of baking spray or oil to top. Bake at 425 degrees, for approximately 35 minutes, or when a good portion of seeds are browned, but not overly done (see my image at top of post). Check them frequently for browning, and flip the seeds at least once during the baking time.
Cajun Seasoning Tip: Try more than one flavor or brand of No Salt Cajun seasoning. I made batches with two different brands, and both were good, but pleasantly different.
Pumpkin Seed Recipe #2: No Salt Seasoning – Table Blend
- Pumpkin seeds, washed/drained in strainer, and dried (either leave out overnight, or pat dry with paper towel)
- No Salt Table Blend seasoning
- Baking Spray or Spritz bottle with healthy oil
- Cookie sheet(s) covered in foil, to allow single layer of seeds
- Metal spatula for flipping seeds
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
After your cookie sheet is covered with foil, add a light coat of baking spray, or spritz of oil. Spread out your seeds, single layer. Spritz your seeds lightly with baking spray or oil. Add very liberally, the No Salt Table Blend seasoning. Then flip seeds around on sheet, making sure they are well covered in spice. Spread the seeds out flat and single layered, again. Bake for approx. 35 minutes, or until most seeds are brown, but not deep brown. While baking, check frequently, and flip seeds at least once during cooking process.
Variations: So far, I’ve tried No Salt Southwest Chicken blend (yes, without having chicken), and a No Salt Veggie blend. I just swapped the flavors in the recipe above. But really, the sky’s the limit. I found so many blends that can be either made or bought, that I can guarantee, I’m gonna try more pumpkin seed flavors.
Here are some No-Salt seasonings that sounded really good to try next: Mediterranean, Everything Bagel, Mushroom, Curry, and even Pumpkin Spice! According to the American Health Association (AHA), the trick to getting a brighter pop of flavor (without salt), is adding a citrus (like orange, lime, or lemon zest) to a dry blend. An acid like vinegar, can do the same, in other recipes.
How to Make Any Pumpkin Seed Recipe Healthier
While some may say, aerosol baking sprays are not healthy, the FDA and The American Heart Association (AHA) says it does cut down on fat and calories. If you’re truly concerned about using aerosol baking sprays, an alternative would be to get a pump spray bottle, and choose a healthy oil to spritz. Using less fat will give you a bigger health benefit, without costing you flavor.
If you’ve tried a no-salt alternative and would like to share your blend, please feel free to leave it in the comments. Don’t forget to like and subscribe. Thanks!