If you’ve ever had or enjoyed honey roasted peanuts then this little sweet treat will be right up your alley. A wonderful balance of salty and sweet with a crunchy toasted seed that’s coated in an almost candy-like honey glaze with a touch of spice, these honey roasted pumpkin seeds are a wholesome, gluten-free, clean eating delight!
After sharing this recipe with a friend, (Hi, Heather!🙃) she asked me two questions: Are pumpkin seeds more nutritious than peanuts? And after doing a bit of research, I learned that the answer to that is essentially yes from a comparative point of view! You can see a simple comparative chart HERE. Pumpkin seeds are higher in energy, protein, dietary fiber, iron, Vit A, saturated fatty acids (which raise your “good” cholesterol), while being slightly lower in carbs, sugars and sodium (compared to the same amount of peanuts).
The other question she asked was: Are these a good substitute for someone with peanut allergies? The answer to this is a bit trickier. While pumpkin seeds are not a tree-nut (such as cashews, hazelnuts, almonds etc) or a legume (such as peanuts, lentils, etc) and may be enjoyed by those who have such allergies, it’s important to be aware of where your pumpkin seeds are processed since they may be processed in the same factory as tree-nuts and legumes and may be cross contaminated. More to that, though rare, those with tree-nut and legume allergies may also be sensitive or allergic to certain proteins found in seeds such as pumpkin and sesame, so do be cautious of this if you do have any tree-nut or legume allergies.
But enough blabbering about why you should, here’s how you can…
Making them is incredibly easy and requires just a few ingredients including raw, shelled pumpkin seeds, honey, butter, cinnamon powder, vanilla, salt (divided into two) and finely blended raw cane sugar.
Now I much prefer to use raw shelled pumpkin seeds for this recipe however if you are going to use unshelled seeds you’ll want to boil them for 10-15 minutes first. Once boiled, strain them, and put them to dry on a clean kitchen towel. Then you can proceed.
Into a bowl goes your honey, melted butter, cinnamon powder, vanilla, and half of your salt. Mix it all together.
Add in your pumpkin seeds and toss to coat them with the honey mixture.
Place your seeds onto a baking tray in an even layer. See how our honey dots our seeds, don’t worry, in the end the coating will be even and glossy. Pop your tray into a preheated oven and be sure to take them out and turn/stir them every 5 minutes. This is important to ensure even roasting as well as to help the seeds get an even coating. At first your honey mixture will be very liquidy, almost like water, but that’s normal, by the 15-20 minute mark all that moisture will cook off and leave behind a thick and sticky honey glaze.
Notice how your seeds are golden brown but not burned? Notice in the close up that most of the seeds themselves aren’t actually fully browned but it’s the honey glaze on them that gives them the brown color? That’s the benefit of low and slow with sufficient turning.
The seeds at this point are warm and the honey is thick and sticky and evenly coats all the seeds. We do need to work quickly at this point though because as it cools, the honey coating will harden turning your seeds into a brittle. Let your seeds cool just slightly so it’s not molten hot and you can work with them. As an aside, if your seeds do harden into a lump or a sheet, simply place them back into your turned-off-but-still-warm oven for a couple minutes so that the honey can warm up and the seeds and be separated.
Once your seeds are a bit cooled, scrape them into a bowl. Do you see how they’re already starting to clump together?
Sprinkle the remaining salt and add your finely ground sugar to it and toss to coat. Using a spatula or your hands (better option in my opinion) separate any major clumps of seeds and allow each to be coated with the sugar. Your sugar acts as an anti clumping coating and along with the salt, gives a great flavor to your seeds.
Once evenly coated and separated, allow your seeds to cool completely before storing any leftovers.
And while you wait for them to cool, feel free to…err…sample…your creation!
If you made this recipe don’t forget to leave a review and rating below or reach out to us on social media and share your images of your delectable creations so we can drool over it together!🤤
Honey Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Preheat oven to 325°F
- In a large bowl combine the honey, melted butter, cinnamon, vanilla, and half of the salt together.
- Add the pumpkin seeds in and toss to evenly coat.
- Place the coated seeds onto a baking tray in an even layer.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, checking and turning every 5 minutes. For the first 15 minutes the seeds will be green and the honey will be watery, this is normal.
- Once toasted, let the seeds cool for a few minutes, stirring before transferring them to a clean bowl or dish. They will be sticky and clump together, this is normal.
- Sprinkled the finely blended sugar and remaining salt over the seeds and toss to coat them, being sure to separate the larger clumps.
- Store in an airtight container or jar and keep at room temp for up to 2 weeks.
- I highly recommend using shelled pumpkin seeds for both taste and texture since unshelled pumpkin seeds have been known to cause intestinal inflammation. However if you are using unshelled pumpkin seeds you should first boil them for 10-15 minutes. Once boiled, strain, and dry them on a clean kitchen towel. Use a paper towel to blot away any excess moisture. Once dried, toss them in the honey mixture and continue following the recipe.
- This recipe is easy but requires patience, low and slow is the way to go. At a higher temp you risk burning both the honey and the seeds resulting in seeds that are bitter and burned. The lower temperature allows the seeds to slowly toast while the honey's liquid cooks off resulting in sticky, caramelized honey that clings to the seeds and cools to create a candy-like coating.
- Once you remove them from the oven and are waiting for them to cool be sure to turn them every couple minutes to prevent them from sticking together and becoming one solid sheet. In the event that they do, place them back into your still warm oven for a couple minutes to allow the sugars to warm up and separate.
- The use of the finely blended sugar and salt gives extra flavor but also keeps the seeds dry and separated.