October 23, 2017

Using Your Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds

pumkin seeds


Don’t Waste Those Pumkin Seeds!

Gardening Tip – For the week 31st  Oct. – 6th  Nov.

Over the past few years here in the U.K. we have copied our cousins across the ocean and we now practise Halloween full swing. At least we haven’t yet adopted the American egg throwing ceremony which I once experienced whilst being in the States on this devilish day. The shops are selling skeletons, witch’s brooms and other terrorising gadgets but top of the charts is still the classic pumpkin.

I was reading an article in a gardening magazine the other day on how to carve a face in a pumpkin. The article was well written, informative and easy to understand but the opening line disturbed me, “slice the top of the pumpkin and remove and discard all the pulp and seeds from the centre of the pumpkin”. ‘What a waste!!’ I thought to myself, these seeds are worth more than the carved out pumpkin which will most probably end up in the bin!!

So let me just give you the simple recipe of how to convert the pumpkin seeds into a nutritious snack!

pumkin seeds

How to use pumpkin seeds

  • Remove the pulp from the seeds and soak the seeds overnight in water.
  • Drain the water
  • Spread the seeds on a piece of baking paper in an oven and leave to dry roast until crisp.
  • If you find the taste of the seeds a bit bland then sprinkle the seeds with salt before placing in the oven.
pumpkin seeds
so many seeds from one pumpkin!

The same recipe applies to the sunflower seeds that are now hanging with their heads down on every respectable allotment.

How to use sunflower seeds

  • Once the outer petals have fallen wait until the flower stem has fallen
  • Cut the stem a few centimetres from the flower head and leave to dry in a warm place.
  • When dry, remove the seeds by rubbing one against each other.
  • To prepare to eat, soak and oven bake as for the pumpkin seeds above.
sunflower head seeds
Sunflower head showing it’s seeds

Common practise is to suck the oven roasted seed, then to crack the shell and eat only the soft nut inside the kernel.

Both sunflower and pumpkin seeds are sold in shops for a fair price and it is so easy to take your own from your own plants. Even if you did not grow any this year, the cost of pumpkins has recently plummeted, even before Halloween, Lidl are giving them away for only  79 pence each! If you were to buy the amount of seeds from 1 fruit at a health food shop it would cost you about three times the price – so my advice is just the opposite – take the seeds and discard the pumpkin! (unless you like pumpkin soup) !

If you have more sunflower seed heads than you can eat – leave them on the heads for the birds to pick at – they like them unroasted!

An enjoyable snack whilst watching the fireworks (throw the shells back onto the fire!)

Or take them with you to munch whilst working on the allotment!

Boris Legarni .

About The Author

Profile photo of Boris Legarni

Boris inherited his green fingers from his mother, who was still planting potatoes and rhubarb in the sixties as she was afraid that they would once again be rationed. As a teenager he used to plant radishes in the corner of the school garden and sell them during break time for sixpence, to give his classmates a healthy crunchy snack. He and his wife both have had an allotment for years, but there is no competition – he does the planting and she does the harvesting and cooking. With a passion for growing anything edible, Boris has planted dozens of named fruit trees in his orchard. Nevertheless he is an avid flower arranger, and assists local communities and charities with his flower arrangements. Boris tells us that after so many years on the allotment he has made all the mistakes possible, and he will share with you his practice to make yours perfect!

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