The Correct Way To Clean Pumpkin Seeds

From fall-flavored cocktails and creepy costumes to horror movie marathons and miniature candy bars, there are a million ways to get in the spooky season spirit. Few, however, are more satisfying than carving a jack-o-lantern and harvesting its innards.

With just a little bit of time and effort, the entire vegetable can be put to use, cutting out food waste entirely. With the pumpkin acting as a fun decoration (the flesh of which can be feasted upon by wildlife after the Halloween parties are over), the pumpkin's stringy pulp can be processed to make dog treats or otherwise transformed into vitamin-rich compost. And the seeds? Well, those are a special snack just for you. But before you dive in, you're going to need to clean them up first.

Cleaning pumpkin seeds to prepare them for roasting is an astonishingly uncomplicated endeavor. Once the stem has been removed to reveal the pumpkin's gooey insides, the hardest part is already over. The next step is to use a spoon or scraping tool to loosen the pulp and seeds fastened to the walls of the pumpkin and remove them. If you have no intention of using the pulp, it's easier to skip the scraping until after you've used your fingers to fish most of the seeds from the belly of the pumpkin.

Just soak, rinse, and roast

After using your fingers to remove any large chunks of pulp, the seeds and any remaining pulp can be transferred to a large bowl and covered with water. While there may still be a good deal of pulp attached to your pumpkin seeds, the water will work to loosen the stringy fibers, and the lightweight seeds will float to the top as the denser pulp sinks to the bottom of the bowl.

Using your fingers or a fine mesh sieve, the seeds can be skimmed from the top, transferred to a colander, and rinsed under cool water, once more, for good measure. At this point, your pumpkin seeds are clean enough to eat! Simply spread the seeds in a thin layer over some parchment paper and allow them to dry before using your favorite roasted pumpkin seed recipe to season and cook them. While the still-damp seeds can just as easily be seasoned and roasted, allowing them to dry before baking helps you to cut down on cooking time and ensures that the seeds roast more evenly.