When carving this year’s Halloween jack-o’-lantern, save the seeds. Fresh-from-the-gourd pumpkin seeds are white and unhulled, making them a little tougher but still delicious. Natural foods stores sell hulled, dusky-green pumpkin seeds, called pepitas, both raw and roasted. Refrigerate and use within a month or two. Pumpkin seeds provide magnesium and manganese, as well as protein and zinc.
Roasting enhances pumpkin seeds’ sweet, buttery flavor. To roast fresh ones, rinse and massage to remove pumpkin pulp, roll in a towel to dry, and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and sea salt, plus any savory or sweet flavors that suit your fancy; experiment with paprika, maple syrup, cinnamon, Cajun spice, or powdered rosemary. Roast at 325 degrees, stirring occasionally, for 30–45 minutes, until toasted.
Sprinkle pumpkin seeds atop green salads or steamed vegetables; stir into rice pilaf or risotto. Or grind the seeds in a food processor; mix with olive oil and sherry vinegar for a healthy salad dressing, or stir into dips and hummus to boost good fats.