We sometimes refer to pumpkin seeds as pepitas and they are snacks that can be munched on someone’s heart content without feeling guilty for taking snacks due to the health’s benefits. Contained in pumpkin seeds include healthy fats, nutritious vitamins, and minerals. What we want to find out is whether or not pumpkin seeds can be frozen. They can be frozen but they have several ways that they can be used.
Pumpkin Seed Storage Options
It is preferably cost-effective when you purchase them in bulk and taking just a little always considerably go a very long way. You can store them when they are organic and raw for about a year. These seeds usually go rancid when they are not properly stored. An unopened sealed package can be kept inside a cool and dry place in the absence of direct sun for about three months or they can be placed inside the freezer for about one or more years.
Once you exposed the seeds to air, you run a risk of getting them rancid. Ensure you seal a package after you have unsealed it, making sure that you remove excess air as much as possible. You are recommended to transfer pumpkin seeds from an open package to an airtight container or bag and keep them inside the refrigerator or freezer.
One important thing you must note is that irrespective of where you want to store your seeds, you must ensure it is kept out of reach of moisture. A well-sealed opened package can be kept inside the refrigerator for about six months and inside the freezer for about 12 months.
Harvesting your Fresh Pumpkin Seeds
To harvest fresh pumpkin seeds, clean away the pulp and wash them thoroughly. You can then immediately eat them deliciously by selecting one of the options below or lay them in single layers to dry so that you can store them for the future.
How To Know if Pumpkin Seeds Are Still Good
First, check for any unusual smell or discoloration if you want to see whether or not your pumpkin seeds are still good. Once you notice mold, then toss out the whole container. However, whenever you cannot find any odor or visible discoloration, they may still have become rancid and that means you will need to have a taste.
They might not cause you any damage or cause you to become sick even when they are rancid but you will notice a bad or slightly sour taste.
How To Freeze Pumpkin Seeds
You may proceed to directly freeze your pumpkin seeds that have been purchased sealed, whose package is yet to be opened. Because it is already moisture-proof and airtight, it will probably last for over a year with the quality still intact. To freeze already opened package, use a re-sealable Ziploc bag or freezable container. As long as you do not allow moisture to get into the container whenever you open it and also close it, you are good to go.
Freezing your Fresh Pumpkin Seeds
You need to follow some steps to freezer fresh pumpkin seeds. First, thoroughly clean the residue from the seeds and allow them to become completely dry by spreading out the seeds in single layers on your parchment paper-covered baking sheet. You should use your parchment paper inside of aluminum foil or plastic wrap because parchment paper does not allow anything to stick to them whether cold or warm or dry or wet.
It will usually take one or two days for the seeds to become dry completely, transfer them in single layers inside the freezer. It is good to freeze them individually before collecting them together for them not to become clumped up and this will usually be done between 20 and 30 minutes.
Collect the seeds together after you have individually frozen them and pack them into either your Ziploc bag, freezer-safe, or airtight container. Ensure the bag is resealed without any air entering whenever you want to use the seeds.
Freezing your Cooked Pumpkin Seeds
This is also a similar process like the fresh variety but rather than wait for the seeds to thoroughly dry out, you need to allow them to completely cool. Before you dip them inside your freezer or perhaps, change their temperature from being hot to being cold, allow them to be at room temperature so that unnecessary condensation will not be formed which will lead to moisture forming on them and then getting them rancid or getting ice crystals when freezing.
How To Thaw your Frozen Pumpkin Seeds
You may not even thaw the pumpkin seeds, depending on the way you will like to eat them. You may use them directly frozen for baking and if you wish to use them as snacks, allow them to thaw on your counter. They all should come out fine from the freezer and for frozen raw seeds, you may zest them by adding to some combinations where you will roast. Your raw seeds will still become sprouted.
Health Benefits of your Pumpkin Seeds
Contained in raw pumpkin seeds is a natural supply of zinc and magnesium which work together to have a better sleep at night. About over 75% of the American populations have a magnesium deficiency and magnesium is usually responsible for protecting the heart, regulating the blood sugar level, healthy bones, and control of blood pressure.
They also have phosphorus, manganese, copper, iron, and vitamin K found in them and they are all essential for the health. They are very high in the content of polyunsaturated fats and this will help to feel full as well as satiated that will help in weight loss.
They are diabetes-friendly as they are very low in glycemic index with just 180 calories in ¼ cup of the raw seeds (shelled). They also contain antioxidant that helps to fight against inflammation that could lead to several health challenges like cancer or chronic health disorder.
You will also find fiber very high in pumpkin seeds and it will help to reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, and also help protect the gut and improve digestion.
How To Eat your Pumpkin Seeds
Unshelled vs Shelled Pumpkin Seeds
There is a clear difference between the unshelled and shelled variety of pumpkin seeds. They are both edible but the shelled could be a bit chewy which may get your jaw tired. Those you buy raw will most probably be shelled with white shells and green seeds. Those you harvest or shelled-buy can be eaten by frying or roasting them and the shell will help provide you more zinc. The seeds are very versatile with a lot of options that can be used when eating them.
Raw Pumpkin Seeds
You can add your shelled, raw pumpkin to your pasta sauce, salad, or oatmeal and you will enjoy the great nutrition. You may also add them to dips, dressings, or sauces like hummus or pesto.
Soaked and Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds
You will get your shelled pumpkin sprouted when you soak them for some hours and they can be easily digested. The naturally sweet flavor of your seed will also be enhanced and they can be eaten alone, sprinkled inside salads, or inside wraps.
Baked Pumpkin Seeds
Any baking recipe where you need nuts can be substituted for pumpkin seeds and that include pie fillings, bread, or desserts. You may even get them chopped to use them to make a brittle. You can use the seeds for plant-based meat substitutes like burgers and they can be pureed to add nutrition and flavor to the meat accordingly.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
This can be bought and can also be easily made to control its quality. All you have to do is to toss your raw unshelled dried seeds in your seasonings like smoked paprika, garlic powder, or salt and also add a little oil. You can roast them together inside your oven on your parchment paper-covered baking sheet for 15 minutes at a temperature of 350°F. You will need to stir them every five minutes.
Ensure you don’t roast the seeds longer than a maximum of 20 minutes even when you want them to be crispier because their healthy fats will have a change in the structure when it gets to this point and some other nutrition will be lost. Allow them to cool for some minutes before you eat them because your mouth could burn.
Fried Pumpkin Seeds
When making a casserole, stir fry, or pasta sauce, sprinkle your fried pumpkin seeds over it. Warm one or two teaspoons of oil inside the frying pan when you want to fry unshelled or shelled pumpkin seeds. Allow them to cook until they are crispy and golden brown by seasoning them with pepper and salt. The shelled variety works well when added to sautéed vegetables or sauces.
As a Beverage
You can blend one cup of shelled, raw pumpkin seeds in three cups of water (you could add your date if you want to sweeten the milk naturally). Then use cheesecloth or nut milk bag to strain it. You may also add it to smoothies and this is amazing for soups and sauces that cream-based dairy-free.
What’s the best way to preserve seeds for planting?
You have to ensure the plants are kept cool and dry at all times. Humidity may allow them to grow mold or begin to sprout. Use an airtight glass container to light-keep them inside the refrigerator for a proper solution. In case you possess different kinds of seeds, keep them in a jar together but ensure you first separate them into paper packets or small envelopes.
Is it hard to grow pumpkins?
Growing pumpkins is not really hard, but you have to follow some processes to do it successfully. Pumpkins do not thrive in cold and that means you should plant them indoor and then transplant them when the climate is off the danger of getting frost. This is if you dwell where there is a cool climate. You will have to weekly water them and be careful of bugs. You may also occasionally fertilize them and train your vines.
How many pumpkins do you get per seed?
Every seed planted can become grown into one single pumpkin plant. Each of the healthy plants can harvest two to five pumpkins in a year but mini pumpkins could produce about 12 annually. You increase the opportunity of the healthy, strong plant sprouting by planting three to five seeds per mound because it is not all the seeds that will grow.