If your family likes to carve pumpkins for Halloween, you may be wondering what to do with all the pumpkin seeds inside. They actually make a great snack for older kids! Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are a common snack in Mexican and other Latin American cuisines. In the US, they are a popular snack in the fall, where they are usually served roasted.
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How to Serve Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are considered a choking hazard to kids under the age of 4. For babies, you can grind them or use a pumpkin seed butter diluted in something like breast milk or formula. Globs of seed or nut butter are actually a choking hazard for babies. Once your baby is a bit older, you can sprinkle ground pumpkin seed on foods like toast or other dishes.
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, fiber, niacin, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus making them nutritional powerhouses (1). They also contain some riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, sodium, and potassium. Also, they contain a variety of fatty acids.
The pumpkins that we use for carving are not bred for taste and therefore may not produce the best tasting seeds (2). That being said, they are totally safe to eat and are usually what people have available. Pie pumpkins will have tastier seeds. The seeds that are available in the store are generally shell-less. You can also use the seeds from other winter squash as well.
Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 tsp butter (melted)
- ½ cup pumpkin seed
- spices (to taste)
- Dry seeds. The drier they are, the crunchier your seeds will be.
- Toss seeds in melted butter.
- Add spices. See notes for possible ideas.
- Air fry at 360℉ for about 12 minutes, tossing once.
- salt and pepper
- chili powder and paprika
- sugar and cinnamon
Krystyn Parks is a Registered Dietitian and Lactation Consultant who specializes in feeding children. She has a Master’s Degree in Nutritional Science from California State University Long Beach. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and has been registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration since 2013.