A popular food in the United States, particularly during the fall months, the pumpkin is most well-known for its flesh, which is used to make pies and other desserts. The pumpkin also produces numerous seeds that may be enjoyed as a snack. Dried pumpkin seeds are widely available in grocery stores, but many gardeners prefer to bake the seeds harvested fresh from their own pumpkins. Fresh pumpkin seeds require a longer baking period than dried seeds, but the process yields a similar end result. Roasted in the oven with peanut oil and lightly salted before serving, baked pumpkin seeds are always a big hit at fall parties and gatherings.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spread out some newspaper over a flat surface. Cut open the pumpkin with a sharp knife and pull out the fresh seeds. Place them on the newspaper and remove the fibrous pulp clinging to the seeds with your fingers.
Place the seeds in a colander and rinse them thoroughly under cool, running water to remove any debris and remaining pulp. Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture before baking the pumpkin seeds.
Place the seeds on a large baking sheet, pour the peanut oil over the top and stir to coat. Spread out the pumpkin seeds into a single layer once they've been thoroughly coated with oil to ensure even baking.
Bake the pumpkin seeds in the preheated oven for about one hour, or until golden in color and crunchy. Stir the seeds about once every 15 to 20 minutes during cooking to prevent scorching.
Remove from the oven, lightly sprinkle the seeds with salt if desired, and then serve immediately.