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Don't toss the seeds when you're carving pumpkins. Save them for planting next spring, or roast them for a tasty snack.

Save to plant

If you're picking a pumpkin from your garden, wait to harvest until the pumpkin is deep orange, makes a hollow 'thunk' sound when tapped, and the stem has turned completely yellow. This will ensure that all of the seeds inside the pumpkin have reached full maturity. Use a sharp knife to cut through the skin and scoop out the pulp.

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Separate the seeds and run them under cold water to clean off all the stringy pulp. Allow the seeds to dry completely on wax paper and then store in a cool, dry place until planting time next spring.

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Roast the seeds

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the cleaned seeds out in a single layer on a  baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes to dry them out.

Pull the tray out of the oven and toss the seeds with salt and olive oil. You can also add any spices you'd like at this point, but my favorite is a little ground cumin and hot paprika. Throw the baking sheet back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes or until the seeds are golden. Keep an eye on them as they're fairly easy to burn.

Arinahabich / Getty Images

Arinahabich / Getty Images

 

Short on time?  Our food editor, Margo True, has a trick for the crunchiest pumpkin seeds around. Hint: no pumpkin goop or seed washing involved.

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