22 ways to use pumpkin seeds

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Pick up a bag of the hulled green seeds (also called pepitas). They're more than just a snack.

1. USE AS A CRUST FOR MEAT OR FISH
Crushed pumpkin seeds make a crunchy, flavorful coating for anything from flaky white fish to a hearty rack of lamb.

2. GARNISH SOUP
Toast a handful to sprinkle over your favorite soup before serving.

3. MAKE BRITTLE
It makes a great gift, but we won't judge you if you just make a big batch for yourself.

4. ADD TO COOKIES
Mix them into your favorite cookie batter, be it chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin.

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5. MAKE PUMPKIN SEED BUTTER
Get out of your peanut butter rut and try pumpkin seed butter. Just swap them in for nuts in this recipe.

6. BLEND INTO MOLE SAUCE
Puréeing the seeds with herbs, jalapeños, tomatillos, and chicken broth makes for one awesome green mole sauce for meat or enchiladas.

7. ADD TO GRANOLA
Add a few big handfuls to your dry ingredients the next time you make a big batch of granola.

8. MAKE PESTO
Throw them in a food processor with fresh herbs and garlic and you've got pesto.

9. MIX INTO GUACAMOLE
Stir some toasted seeds into your favorite guacamole recipe for texture and crunch.

10. ADD TO BREAD DOUGH
Knead them into flatbread or focaccia dough before baking.

11. ROAST THEM
Toss them with a mix of olive oil and savory spices from curry power to cayenne pepper and roast them to create the ultimate bar snack.

12. TOP SALADS
Toasted, they're the perfect crunchy garnish for both vegetable and grain salads.

13. ADD CRUNCH TO TACOS
Sprinkle some toasted seeds on your tacos and suddenly they're just a little bit fancy.

14. BAKE A CAKE
Grind the seeds in a food processor and use them in place of almonds in this gluten-free cake.

15. GARNISH PASTA OR RISOTTO
Just like toasted breadcrumbs, toasted pumpkin seeds add crunch to pasta and risotto and are a nice change from the usual grated Parmesan cheese.

16. MAKE SALSA
Finely chopped pumpkin seeds add body to an otherwise thin salsa.

17. SPRINKLE ON OATMEAL
It's simple, but it's great—just be sure to toast the seeds first.

18. TOP BAKED GOODS
Sprinkle some on scones, muffins, quick bread, or pumpkin pie before baking.

19. MAKE GRANOLA BARS
Once you make your own, you'll never buy the store-bought kind again.

20. ADD TO HUMMUS
Throw a handful of toasted seeds into the food processor while you're blending hummus to add nutty richness.

21. MAKE DRESSING
Blend with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs to create an extra creamy dressing.

22. ADD TO CRUMBLE TOPPING
Add a little extra crunch to crumble topping for pies and fruit crisps.

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Check out 11 things you should never put in your freezer:
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11 things you should never put in your freezer
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22 ways to use pumpkin seeds

1. CHEESE
Soft cheeses such as ricotta, goat, or cream cheese tend to separate when frozen and thawed, which leads to strange textural changes. Hard cheeses like Parmesan and cheddar are usually a safe bet, but you're still better off buying only what you need and storing it properly in the fridge.

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2. AND FOR THAT MATTER, MOST DAIRY
Cream, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, and custard all separate and curdle in the freezer.

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3. WHOLE EGGS
Eggs can expand when frozen, causing the shell to crack and potentially let bacteria in—never a good thing. Cooked eggs and egg-based sauces like hollandaise, mayonnaise, and meringue are also poor freezer candidates. If you really have to freeze eggs, crack them, whisk them (or separate the whites and yolks) and store in an airtight container.

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4. FRIED FOOD
The crispy, craggily, gloriously fried exterior of fried foods—that is, the best part—is lost when frozen and defrosted. Unless soggy is your thing, keep these suckers away from the cold.

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5. COFFEE
It's OK to freeze unopened, freshly-roasted bags of coffee for up to a month. But once you open the bag and start taking it in and out of the freezer, the coffee can get ruined. Thawing and refreezing yields condensation on the beans which causes them to absorb freezer smells.

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6. SOME PRODUCE
Produce that has a high water content (cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce) gets limp and soggy when frozen and defrosted.

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7. FRESH HERBS
Try to thaw a bunch of fresh herbs from frozen and you'll be left with a brown, soggy mess. Instead, turn your herbs into compound butter or pesto, both of which freeze impeccably.

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8. COOKED PASTA
Cooked pasta turns into a mushy puddle of gluten after it's frozen. Avoid at all costs.

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9. SAUCES THICKENED WITH FLOUR OR CORNSTARCH
Thickened sauces like gravy and béchamel separate when frozen and thawed. Not a good look.

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10. AVOCADOS
The texture of avocados changes when frozen, so you can kiss that silky interior goodbye. (But really, when have you ever had trouble using up a haul?) (Oh, wait, you have? You should probably read this.)

Photo credit: Getty

11. POTATOES
When was the last time you craved a soft, grainy potato? Exactly.

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