Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

October 16, 2009  •  Category:


I used to feel guilty when I would spend one hour munching on pumpkin seeds or b’zer. Fatty calories and all. But to me irresistible, a habit picked up since childhood in Lebanon. It was always available for us kids to snack on and we’d usually buy it from cart vendors who would be judiciously parked in front of the park.  Most of  the fun was in  splitting the seeds open with one’s teeth! But all that  guilt evaporated  after reading an article from Men’s Health. Apparently, pumpkin seeds are part of the list of the 10 best foods to eat. Oh relief!  Now I know I am not being just gourmande, oh no, I am treating myself with good medicine!

A condensed version of why pumpkin seeds are so good:

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Help prevent kidney stones, treat intestinal parasites
  • natural anti-inflamatory
  • protect prostate
  • relieves constipation
  • prevent osteoporosis
  • good for diabetics
  • 1/2 cup contains 0ver 90% RDS of magnesium
  • Contains most B vitamins, C,D,E and F as well as calcium, potassium, niacin and phosphorus.

Apparently, Native American tribes who knew a lot more than they were given credit for, used them to treat kidney stones and intestinal problems. However, the seeds are the most beneficial when eaten raw.

This recipe is inspired by a recipe that appeared in the magazine REAL SIMPLE, October 2009


One large pumpkin, the larger the bigger the seeds!

2 tablespoons of oil of your choice

spices of your choice- I picked 2 teaspoons of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of allspice, a dash of sea salt, a dash of black pepper.


  1. Cut the pumpkin first around the stem. It is a lot easier. Remove the stem and start pulling the seeds with all the other filaments.
  2. Clean the seeds by placing them in a colander under running water.
  3. Dry the seeds in a slow oven for 45 minutes, spread on a cookie sheet.
  4. Now you can do one of two things. You can place a couple tablespoons of oil in a bowl with a few spices, toss the seeds in it and return them to the cookie sheet and the oven. Raise the oven temperature to 350F and roast them for about 10 minutes. OR, you can heat some oil in a skillet, add the spices, add the seeds and stir-fry them for about 5 minutes, shaking the skillet every so often.

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7 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Dana says:

    Hi Joumana,

    What a treat! Love “bizir”. I was at the market this morning and asked Layla farm about raw goat milk and they dont have it (they only have the cow milk) but she told me about Latte Da dairy farm in Flower Mound (http://www.lattedadairy.com/index_files/page0001.html). Apparently, their products are carried by Central Market and you can also buy fresh milk from the farm.

    My bounty this weekend has all the makings of a ratatouille, so I’ll be making that for lunch today. I also found fresh radishes and dandelion, so maybe a salad of radish leaves and dandelion too.

    btw, thank you for the “Arab Table” review. I hopped to B&N this week and got it. I can tell you that this book will occupy center stage in my kitchen library. I am planning to try the fish tajen tomorrow.

    Happy eating and hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather today!


    • Joumana says:

      Hi Dana
      I always read your comments with excitement. What I am going to learn today?! Thanks so much for the link for latte da dairy. I bookmarked it and I will go there next week to buy raw milk. I am in the process of making goat cheese and when that’s done I am going to try my hand at shankleesh! Anyway, your cooking plans sound perfect for this kind of weather. Have fun in the kitchen and with your cookbook!
      Take care!

  2. Ani says:

    A family favorite!

  3. Rafa says:


    Hahaha, so you use Spanish Pimentón!

    I’m Spanish, and our paprika is so great.

    I just found your website and I’m enjoying it so much! I love cooking and I will certainly try some of these recipes!


  4. Jana says:

    I adore them too-brings back memories from cold winter evenings at home, in Bulgaria…however we never added oil, just some salt at the end; lovely blog and so cool blog entry! happy new week from me…

  5. damlasu dilova says:

    I love roasted pumpkin seeds. I always roast pumpkin seeds in my big pan. I buy raw pumpkin seeds from the market. I wash them to make sure they are clean. Then I put it on a towel and wait a while for it to dry. For roasting, I use vegetable oil, salt, paprika, and a little ginger powder. Ginger powder gives pumpkin seeds a different taste and smell. But make sure you don’t use too much ginger.
    Thanks for your delicious receipt.

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