Pumpkin seeds are packed with lots of nutrients and they can be made into an awesome, yummy, and mess free snack for the road for children and adults.
I buy the seeds in bulk, soak and dehydrate them and keep in a large glass jar with a lid. Soaking increases the bio-availability of minerals and reduces anti-nutrients like phytic acid. Phytic acid may contribute to tooth decay and poor absorption of minerals, so it is a good idea to reduce it by soaking (or sprouting and fermenting). Dehydrating the seeds at a low temperature helps keep most nutrients intact.
100 grams of dried pumpkin seeds provide about 592 mg of magnesium! That is about 148% of daily amount of magnesium for adults, which is exciting! 1-8 year old children need about 80-130 mg of magnesium a day, so they can benefit even from small amounts. Magnesium is essential for heart health and more than 70% of American people are reported to be deficient in it.
Pumpkin seeds are also rich in manganese, phosphorus, copper, zinc, protein, and iron.
How I make crispy soaked pumpkin seeds? I soak the seeds in filtered water adding some sea salt for 8-24 hours, then rinse once. After rinsing I sprinkle some more sea salt on the seeds for taste. Then I transfer the soaked and salty seeds to my dehydrator and turn it on. I set the temperature to 105 F and forget about it for about 24 hours. After that time I try them for crispiness. If not crispy enough I leave them drying in the dehydrator for more. When they are completely dry, they become super crispy. I transfer the dried crispy pumpkin seeds to a big glass jar and close the lid tightly to preserve the crispiness.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use your oven to dry them. I never dried mine in the oven, so can’t say for how long for sure. I would choose the lowest temperature available in the oven settings.
Soaked Crispy Sea-salty Pumpkin Seeds
You will need:
- 3 lb of raw Pumpkin seeds
- 2-3 Tbsp of Sea salt
- Filtered water (enough for covering the seeds)
- Extra Unrefined Sea Salt (Celtic sea salt or Himalayan sea salt) for sprinkling before drying – to taste or optional
- Cayenne pepper – 1 tsp (optional – for spicy taste)
- Dehydrator (I use Nesco dehydrator, which functions great, but next time I would get a stainless one like Excalibur to avoid using plastic trays when using higher temperatures)
- Soak pumpkin seeds in filtered water by adding 2-3 Tbsp of sea salt. Cover the lid and leave on the counter for 8-24 hours.
- Pour off the water in which seeds were soaked and add about 1-2 cups more of clean filtered water to rinse. Rinse only once.
- Sprinkle some fine unrefined sea salt on the seeds and mix.
- Spread the seeds on dehydrator sheets and set the temperature to 105 F. Leave drying for about 24 hours.
- Check. If still chewy, dry more. If crispy enough, then transfer to a glass jar and cover with a lid for storage. You can store on the counter, shelf, or fridge.