This is an update from my original post from 2011!! Below are tips for how to bake roasted pumpkin seeds with kids plus a fun fall sensory activity!
Mmmmm these are some of the pumpkins that came out of my garden this year! I decided to grow pie pumpkins instead of jack o lanterns this year so these photos are from my pumpkin pie baking session. You can use the same steps for jack o lanterns too!
Start by making sure your pumpkins aren’t covered in dirt! If you bought them at the grocery store then they are probably pretty clean. Mine came from the garden so I had chunks of dirt on mine to wash off.
If you’re baking pumpkin pies then you’ll want to cut your pumpkins in half, otherwise you probably just want to cut a hole in the top for a jack o lantern! Use a spoon or pumpkin scooper to remove all of the flesh and seeds inside!
Once you’re done cutting all of your pie pumpkins (or jack o lanterns) up and scraping out the pumpkin seeds and stringy mush you’ll have a bowl full like I did. This is when I get a second bowl out and pick each individual pumpkin seed out and place it in the new bowl! You do NOT want the squishy pumpkin mush! JUST the seed. I know it seems tedious but I promise you it’s 1000 times worth it!
Once your bowl of pumpkin seeds is ready then soak it in cold water as long as desired. I usually leave mine in the sink overnight and come back to it the next day. Drain it all out and lay the pumpkin seeds out on a thin baking sheet. You can sprinkle salt on top if you want!
Bake your pumpkin seeds in the oven for 30 minutes at 400*F.
Baking Pumpkin Seeds with Kids:
Before we left for Chicago we cut the tops off of our pumpkins and had the kids pull out the pumpkin seeds to bake them! Once an adult cuts the tops off the kids can dig right in and help!
BUT if you have a sensory squeamish child (which usually my child is not!) they can try using a spoon instead!
When we were done pulling out the seeds I carved cute little ghostly faces into our pumpkin!
Make sure you rinse your pumpkin seeds thoroughly after pulling them out of the pumpkin. Then lay a thin layer on a baking pan or cookie sheet and bake them in the oven for 30 minutes at 400*F. You can bake the seeds with or without salt added on top depending on your preference. We usually do a batch of each.