Is Weight Or Size More Important When Selecting A Pumpkin For Seeds?

Pumpkin seeds are often the real prize when cooking with pumpkins, and that's because of how nutty and crispy they become when roasted in the oven, according to Taste of Home. To roast the seeds, the source explains that they have to be removed from the pumpkin first, then cleaned of all that pumpkin gunk. After thoroughly rinsing and drying them, the seeds are ready to be seasoned and roasted at 250 Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. It's also a good idea to crank the oven up to 325 Fahrenheit after the 45-minute mark so the seeds can get brown and crispy — this should take about five minutes or so.

Pumpkin seeds extend beyond roasting though. As Country Living notes, one can make pumpkin seed brittle, hummus, pesto sauce, and granola, as well as salads and side dishes with a garnish of pumpkin seeds for texture. But before you start whipping up a bunch of pumpkin seed recipes, be sure to utilize a saltwater soak, as suggested by The Cozy Cook. The enzymes within the thin membrane of the seeds may cause chewing and digestive issues, but this can be minimized by soaking one cup of seeds in two cups of water mixed with ½ tablespoon of salt for 12 to 24 hours.

All of this being said, it's important to choose a pumpkin that will (hopefully) yield the most seeds possible. And luckily, TheKitchn has a pro tip to make this selection process much easier.

Opt for large pumpkins

Heavier pumpkins must be weighed down with all those seeds inside, right? Not necessarily. According to TheKitchn, size, rather than weight, matters more when choosing a pumpkin with a high seed count. Harris Seeds also chimes in by stating that as a general rule of thumb, small pumpkins typically equate to a small number of seeds so conversely, large pumpkins may have more seeds. Granted, this also depends on the type of pumpkin because some don't have many seeds even though they look huge, like the Atlantic Giant variety. Fun fact: some of these grow to over 1,000 pounds, per Live Eat Learn.

So how many seeds are we looking at per pumpkin on average? About 500, per Good Housekeeping. And if you like math, you can also estimate how many seeds a pumpkin will have by counting how many "fruiting sections" it has and multiplying this number by 16, via Reference. For instance, if you count 28 of these, then the pumpkin may have approximately 448 seeds.

So next time you're shopping for pumpkins, be sure to pick out larger ones over heavier ones for a higher seed count.