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Can You Eat Raw Pumpkin Seeds ? Yes, Here’s How

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Perhaps you just finished carving up a pumpkin for Halloween or just placed your delicious pumpkin pie right into the oven, and now you are staring at a pile of raw pumpkin seeds, wondering if you could eat them or if you have to throw them all away.

It seems like such a waste to just throw them away, but is it safe to do anything else?

raw pumpkin seed

Can you eat raw pumpkin seeds?

You can eat pumpkin seeds raw if you want, but they taste much better when roasted. The shell also becomes much easier to to crack open to get to the seed inside.

Well, the good news is that you do not have to throw away all the pumpkin seeds because they are completely safe to eat raw. If you want to do so, the best thing to do is to rinse them off thoroughly after removing them from the pumpkin.

From there, you can choose to snack on them raw or add them to soups, salads, or sandwiches. Some people even put them into things like pesto.

The most important thing if you are going to eat them raw is to clean them right away and store them in the refrigerator. If raw pumpkin seeds are left out for too long, especially with pumpkin residue left on them, they can get E-Coli.

Do you need to remove pumpkin seed shell ?

If you ever buy pumpkin seeds at the grocery store, they will most likely look a little different from the pumpkin seeds you take out of your pumpkin at home. This is because the pumpkin seeds you take out of your pumpkin have this white shell around them. The actual seed looks like what you see at a grocery store. They are flat, oval-like, and green.

pumpkin seeds shell

You usually find them at the grocery store without the shell. So you may find yourself wondering if you also need to take off the pumpkin seed shell before you eat them at home. You can eat the seeds with the shell on, since it’s softer than when roasted.

Just know, the pumpkin seed shell is particularly high in fiber. It can be more difficult for people with certain digestive conditions to eat. If you have a digestive condition or if you commonly have digestive problems, you may want to remove the shell before you eat it.

Read also: Can You Substitute Pumpkin? 

How do you remove the shell?

So if you decided that you wanted to remove the pumpkin shells either for personal digestive reasons or because that is what your recipe calls for, how do you remove the shell? It does not break open as easily as some other seeds and nutshells do.

To remove the shells from your pumpkin seeds, always start by washing them off. From there, there are two main methods that you can use. It depends on whether you are removing the shell from a bunch of pumpkin seeds at once, or just one at a time.

If you remove the shells from a bunch at a time, start by laying them out flat on either your counter or a cutting board. Next, you will run them over with a rolling pin; only use enough pressure to just lightly crack the shells, as you don’t want to crack the seed within.

After you are done with this, all you have to do is place them in boiling water for about 5 minutes, and the shells will fall right off.

On the other hand, if you want to peel them one at a time, try the following method. After you finish washing off all the pulp from the pumpkin, take the pumpkin seed between your thumb and your index finger and gently fold the seed in half repeatedly until the shell cracks. After the shell cracks, you’ll be able to simply peel off the shell from the seed.

What do raw pumpkin seeds taste like?

Raw pumpkin seeds have a fairly chewy texture, though if you roast them, they become a crunchy and crispy treat. As far as flavor, pumpkin seeds have a very nutty flavor with a subtle sweetness to them. In truth, the flavor that pumpkin seeds have is not very strong at all, so they take on a lot of the flavor of whatever you put them in.

This is why so many people like to roast them with salt or cinnamon sugar and why they make the perfect addition to soups, salads, and sandwiches. Pumpkin seeds can add more texture without taking away from the flavor.

If you decide to eat your pumpkin seeds with the shell still on, there will not be a whole lot of difference to the taste. However, the shells do change the texture as they are much tougher and can make the seeds harder to chew.

How to eat pumpkin seeds

There are actually many different ways you can eat pumpkin seeds. Some people do like to just eat them right out of the pumpkin with a little bit of salt (after cleaning them), but there are other ways you can add them to various different dishes.

pumpkin seeds salad

Some people like to add pumpkin seeds to sauteed vegetables or on top of a green salad for some different texture and added nutrients. Other people at them to cookies, granola, or trail mix, and even add them on top of oatmeal. Some people even add ground up pumpkin seeds to their hamburgers.

Read Also: Pumpkin Substitute For Eggs


In summary, you can eat raw pumpkin seeds raw. They are good straight out of the pumpkin or from the grocery store, as long as they are cleaned properly to not develop bacteria. You can even eat them with the shell or without, depending on your personal preference.

Whether you like them completely raw and by themselves, or on top of salads, or even roasted, you no longer need to feel like you are wasting a whole pile of pumpkin seeds anymore.

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