14 Things to Do with Pumpkin Seeds
Use leftover pumpkin seeds for fun crafts and activities.
After you carve your pumpkin into a jack-o'-lantern, you're left with a bunch of gooey innards and pumpkin seeds. Don't just throw those seeds away. Use them for these 14 fun ideas -- from crafts to tasty treats.
They make great activities for your nanny or babysitter to do with your kids around Halloween.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
One of the easiest and most common ways of using pumpkin seeds is to toast them in the oven for a seasonal snack. Toss them in some salt and olive oil, spread on a foil-covered baking sheet and bake at 350 for about a half an hour or until the seeds are aromatic and golden brown.
Use store-bought crescent roll dough and pumpkin seeds to make scary breadstick fingers -- perfect for Halloween parties! Instead of creating the traditional crescent shape with the refrigerated dough, roll the pre-cut triangles into more of a cylinder, finger-shape. Leave some uneven edges for "knuckles" and wrinkles. Press one seed to the end of the breadstick to serve as a "fingernail" and bake according to the dough instructions.
Use a needle and wire to poke holes in and tie five pumpkin seeds together, pointy ends in, making a flower. Wrap the excess wire around an earring wire and you have seasonal, floral earrings for that special someone! Glue tiny seed beads to the center to add a touch of sparkle and complete the look.
Turn your pumpkin into this fun game. The different sizes of the seeds will make for some unpredictable fun!
Make your favorite trail mix recipe and toss in toasted pumpkin seeds.
Sneak some math practice into your Halloween fun. Use piles of seeds to teach small children about "less" and "more" and counting. Older children can practice their multiplication tables and guess the number of seeds put into a jar or glass.
Paint your pumpkin seeds bright colors -- use nail polish for a glossy sheen. Then glue the seeds onto cardstock or cardboard to create mosaics.
Pumpkin Seed Encrusted Chicken
When breading your chicken, replace your normal breading with a mix of one part bread crumbs and one part pumpkin seeds for a crunchy and nutritious seasonal flavor. Then bake or fry as usual!
Add seasonal crunch to your fall salads. Instead of regular croutons, toss a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds atop your leafy greens. They're healthy and lower in carbs than most croutons.
Paint seeds brown, red, yellow and orange, and use them in an arts and crafts project. Draw or paint a tree and glue the seeds as autumn foliage to give dimension.
Clean and dry the pumpkin seeds, then use them to make beaded necklaces (think the traditional puka shell necklaces of the Pacific islands). Make holes in the center of the seeds and string a bunch onto a cord for pretty pumpkin seed jewelry.
Seasonal Photo Frame
Glue the seeds to a store-bought wooden photo frame to make a seasonal place for displaying your favorite pumpkin patch or Halloween costume photos.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in fiber and nutrients -- perfect additions to most smoothies. Grind up your pumpkin seeds ahead of time with a food processor and add some of the ground powder to your blender when you're making your morning smoothie. Delicious and nutritious!
The circle of life can come around if you simply clean your pumpkin seeds and plant them in some fresh soil. While it will be a long time before the fruits of the gardening labor comes around, taking care of your own pumpkin patch can become a family project that promotes togetherness. And then you can start the cycle again next year!
What will you do with your pumpkin seeds this year? Share your ideas in the comment section below.
Your Next Steps:
- Read up on Halloween safety
- Hire a date night sitter so you can have some parents-only Halloween fun
Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer in Houston. Her work can be found here.