Living and Thriving Gluten Free

Healthy & Gluten Free

Categories: Snacks - Nuts and Seeds    

These roasted pumpkin seed treats are tasty and crunchie. These will become the latest family favorite, and can be made any time you cook a pumpkin or a squash. Even kids will love these crunchie treats.

Roasted pumpkin seeds with sprinkled salt and spices
Image by: Thora Toft

Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Makes: 1 cup, approximately Difficulty: Medium

Gluten free Dairy free option Egg free Grain free Soy free Vegan option
Shopping Tips - what to look for to get the best gluten free, real ingredients for this recipe:

Pumpkins and squash and all fresh fruits and vegetables should be organic.

This reduces a number of toxic chemicals that can cause harm to humans. When you are required to eat gluten free, you will need to reduce all unnecessary stress on your stomach, so that it has a better chance of healing. Using organic fresh fruits and vegetables will go a long way to achieving this.

Each year a US report is created by the EWG (Environmental Working Group) listing the most and least pesticide contaminated common produce in the US. It is useful to know where to put your initial focus on what to buy organic and what can be lower on your priority list. I'd suggest that if a crop is not on the EWG "Clean 15" list on the below listed site, that you buy organic.

Consumer Reports has also published a report. They have a nice summary of residues on both conventional and organic produce. This is a good place to start if this is a new topic for you, and it gives good detail, but in a readable format.

They found that all organic produce has consistently been tested to show low or very low levels of residue. This can make you confident that organic is a good way to go. A link to their summary page on pesticide residues is linked below.

For anyone who really wants to dig into the full datasets of the EPA residue testing, they can find that at the bottom link below. This will include the most recent reported data.

Pumpkin and squash are not on the EWG "Clean 15" list (2018). They rank 25th out of 48 for contamination (labeled as winter squash on EWG listing). They should only be purchased as organic.

Check out these 4 articles. The first 2 show this year's EWG report on pesticide contamination, and will be updated automatically based on the current year. The third article is the Consumer Reports summary page for pesticide residue on produce, including conventional and organic, and domestic and imported. The fourth article is the direct link to the EPA residue testing site, where you can do further research:

Note - If you need to be dairy free, then choose coconut oil or another dairy free fat for this recipe.

Butter and other dairy products - Raw organic is best. Non-homogenized, organic is preferred if you don't have access to raw. Never buy Ultra High Temperature (UHT), or Ultra-Pasteurized milk; you will need to carefully check the label, as it's not always obvious.

Check out the following 4 articles to help you find the best type of milk for your personal taste:

Coconut oil - You want to look for organic coconut oil processed without chemicals. It does not need to be raw, since you're cooking with it, but you want it made without chemicals. You can also make your own coconut oil. Below there is a link to a You Tube video that shows you how to make both cold pressed, and heat created coconut oil.

Lard - You can also use unrefined, organic lard. You can make your own Homemade Lard here, on our site. If you are buying it, you do not want to buy the regular grocery store white blocks, as they are made with a number of toxic chemicals, some that don't need to be on the label, and are usually hydrogenated.

Palm oil - You also can use organic palm oil, as long as it's not processed with chemicals when it's made.

You want to avoid using vegetable oils when cooking, as they degrade into trans fats, which are extremely bad for you. Such as corn, canola, soy, grapeseed, sunflower, safflower, etc. Any oils with a significant amount of polyunsaturated fats should not be used for cooking.

Recent research is showing that saturated fats are not linked to heart health problems.

Saturated fats are the most heat stable to use for cooking. This is also why it's ok to cook with good quality oils that use heat during the processing, as long as they also don't use chemicals, and don't use hydrogenation.

This topic is very popular now, and you'll need to wade through a lot of conflicting information, and emerging information. Keep an eye out as more advances are made, and old ideas are discarded.

To learn more about these different types of oils, check out these 8 articles (I am NOT an affiliate of any of these):

You want to find unrefined salt, with no additives. It should say unrefined on the label. If it is refined, it will simply say salt. Refined salt does not need to list the chemicals used in the refining process, but the word "refined" will tell you that something was used (and most are toxic).

Look for unrefined sea salt, Himalayan salt, or various gourmet hand crafted salt.

Good sea salt should be unrefined, and will not be pure white.

There is also Himalayan salt that many consider a healthy source of salt. It is generally unrefined. There is some debate as to the quality, and the exact makeup of the other minerals found in it. If you find a source of it you like, then go ahead and use it. It's largest benefit is that it does not have added chemicals, and has a wide range of other minerals. If you want the other minerals, then this is a good option.

There are a number of different gourmet salts that are hand crafted via evaporation that are nice quality. With some investigating, you can find very clean, uncontaminated sources.

For additional reading on salt, check out this article on our site:

You want to buy 100% certified organic spices, with no additional additives, labeled gluten free, and labeled to state that no anti-caking agents or additives have been used.

100% organic certified products will contain no GM substances, and will not be irradiated. Without anti-caking agents, they can stick together. This is easily solved by stirring with a clean tool prior to using, if it has clumped together.

Note that when it says only Organic, it can contain small amounts of synthetic and GM substances (up to 5%). Many chemicals used in spices are not required to be labeled, thus you want 100% Certified Organic, and statements noting no additional additives used.

Spices should be used up within about 6 months. Any older and they can spoil, and will lose any benefits, and the flavor will fade.

To read more about spices and anti-caking agents, check out these 2 articles on our site:

Check out these other 2 articles on buying good spices and what the term Organic means:

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Seeds from a fresh pumpkin or squash
1 to 2 tablespoons Butter or coconut oil
Sea salt
Black pepper
Substitutions and Notes:
  • Dairy free: Use a non dairy fat or oil, such as coconut oil.
  • Vegan: Use a non animal based oil or fat, such as coconut oil.
  • Use the seeds from a fresh pumpkin or squash. You will need to scoop them out of the raw pumpkin, and remove all the fibers attached to the seeds. To do that, place them in a big bowl of water and with your hands carefully pull the seeds out of the fibers. You want to remove all of the fibers. Rinse the seeds.
  • You can boil the seeds for about 10 minutes, to precook the inside. This is an optional step, if you want them cooked. Some people find them easier to digest if they are boiled before roasting. This can also prevent the insides from burning before the outside is crispy.
  • Preheat the oven to 300° F (150° C).
  • Whether you cook them or not, lay them on paper towels and pat them dry or let them air dry for 5 or 10 minutes. They don't need to be completely dry, so it's okay if they are still damp.
  • Place the seeds in a bowl. Melt the butter or coconut oil and drizzle over the seeds. Toss to coat them fully. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. You can optionally also add some favorite ground spices, such as a gluten free spice of your choice. I've used chili powder, ground hot peppers or cinnamon and all are good options.
  • They will take 20 to 30 minutes to roast, depending on the type of seeds, and your particular oven. Spread the seeds out on a cookie sheet, and place in the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, then stir them well. Bake for 5 more minutes, and stir again. Take a few seed out and let them cool for a minute. Break them open to see how the insides are looking. If they are starting to brown on the inside they are done, or close to done. Taste them, and see if you think they're done. They should be quite crunchie. If they're not done yet, continue roasting, and check them carefully every 3 to 5 minutes.
    Note that the will most likely not turn brown, and the inside can turn brown even though the outside is white. Watch that they don't get over cooked.
  • Serve warm immediately. Or cool and store in an air tight container for about 5 days.


Tell us in the comments below how they turned out for you, and what seasonings are your favorites!

Thora Toft

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