For all of the autumn lovers out there, pumpkin patch season is right around the corner. You're probably thinking, carving pumpkins is such a blast, but what do I do with the mass amounts of leftover seeds? Well, little did you know, throwing out the seeds of a pumpkin would be an absolute crime. So, no need to fear... I have found a solution.

pumpkin, pasture, vegetable, gourd, squash
Rachel Rosenstein

Option 1

After a vigorous day choosing the perfect pumpkin, you might feel the need to settle down with a salty snack. Your first order of business is roasted pumpkin seeds. Remove all hand jewelry because things are about to get a little messy. 

First, scoop the seeds out of the pumpkin, rinse them with cold water, and lay them on a sheet tray with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little paprika, and roast them in a 375ºF oven until golden brown and crispy. Total perfection. 

Option 2

Now, if you aren't a fan of roasting, and sweet snacks are on your mind, this option is perfect for you. Prepare the seeds the same way, but instead of laying them on a sheet tray, put them in a small pot with brown sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup, and salt. Stir the seeds continuously to combine all the ingredients, and when the mixture starts to bubble, turn down the heat. Spread the seeds evenly across a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and set them in the oven for the candy to harden. 

Option 3

A photo posted by ARK Elements (@arkelements) on

What if you're in the mood for salty AND sweet? We have a third option. Trail mix is a great way to incorporate roasted pumpkin seeds, and also have a small sweet element. Mix the seeds with M&M's, chocolate chips, rolled oats, and anything you could ever imagine. 

Option 4

Pumpkin seeds make a great addition to any salad recipe you have as well. This healthy alternative to croutons provide a major crunch factor and an unusual bite. My favorite salad to pair the seeds with is my classic fall salad, which has apples, walnuts, and goat cheese. 

Option 5

Crazy for cookies? These seeds can be beautifully incorporated in a chewy cookie with chocolate chips, cinnamon, and honey. It makes for a great dessert to come home to after a brutal day of work or a strenuous day at school. 

cereal, pasture, pumpkin seeds, wheat, corn
Photo by Spoon University