Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas in Spanish, are packed with nutrients. These edible seeds are especially high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, and rich in vitamins and minerals.
These healthy seeds have been part of the regular diet of many people worldwide. Pumpkin seeds are great for snacks and add extra crunchy bites to your salads, granola, bread, and many more.
Just like most people do, you only use a small amount each time you usually sprinkle these seeds on top of your salads or oatmeal. It still takes a while to finish a pack. One time you notice that the “best by” date is approaching.
This situation leads you to think: how long are pumpkin seeds good for? Do pumpkin seeds go bad?
If you’re looking for answers to those questions, you’re on the right page. Read along and find more information on pumpkin seeds’ shelf life, storage methods, and common signs of bad pumpkin seeds.
Storage Methods For Pumpkin Seeds
If you decide to prepare a batch of pumpkin seeds at home, make sure the seeds are evenly roasted and dried. Let them cool off to room temperature and place in an airtight container or glass jar. Keep them sealed in the pantry or in the refrigerator to benefit longer shelf life.
Store-bought pumpkin seeds are easy to store. As long as the pack is not opened, keep it safely in a cool, dry area, away from sources of heat and sunlight, preferably your pantry or cupboard.
If the package is resealable, simply keep the remaining seeds in the original package after opening. Remove as much air as possible before closing the seal. Alternatively, transfer them into a sealed airtight container and label it.
Due to the high oil content, pumpkin seeds are susceptible to going rancid. Exposure to air and heat will accelerate the rancidification process. So, if you open the pack frequently, the seeds tend to be rancid before you know it.
If you only use a spoonful or two each time, the best advice is to transfer a small amount into another container. This way, you reduce the exposure of air to the original package. Refill the container whenever you finish the seeds. Simple but works well!
If you won’t finish the pack shortly, consider keeping pumpkin seeds in the fridge.
Can you freeze pumpkin seeds?
Yes, pumpkin seeds freeze well and freezing is a simple way to extend its shelf life.
You can directly put an unopened pack of pumpkin seeds into the freezer. If you have opened the pack, the rest can be frozen in its original package as long as it is resealable. Remember to remove as much air as possible. Otherwise, transfer the seeds into a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Don’t forget to label the container.
Depending on how you want to use frozen pumpkin seeds, you can either thaw them in the fridge or use them while still frozen for a recipe, such as for baking.
How Long Are Pumpkin Seeds Good For?
Homemade roasted pumpkin seeds stay fresh for up to a week in the pantry. If stored in the refrigerator, they are good for 1 to 2 months.
A package of store-bought pumpkin seeds comes with a “best before” or “best use by” date. Use this date as guidance for your purchase and consumption. The quality of the seeds should stay good prior to this date, subject to proper storage. Poor storage conditions can shorten shelf life.
Beyond the date, pumpkin seeds may stay good. To make sure, always check any indications of spoilage before consuming.
After opening, pumpkin seeds start to deteriorate quite fast. The healthy bits become rancid and even grow molds, especially when exposed to moisture and heat.
Try to empty the pack within 2 to 3 months after opening when stored in the pantry. If you keep it in the fridge, it may remain fresh a bit longer.
Frozen pumpkin seeds’ quality is best for up to a year and may remain safe to consume after that.
What Do Bad Pumpkin Seeds Look Like?
Pumpkin seeds are prone to molds contamination. So how do you tell if pumpkin seeds are bad? If you see visible molds, that’s an obvious sign that pumpkin seeds have gone off.
Likewise, if you notice any discoloration and unusual smells, discard the remaining seeds for safety reasons.
Even if the seeds look okay after a while, pumpkin seeds tend to go rancid. These seeds have lost their flavor and tend to smell awful. You may want to discard them since the seeds won’t taste great anyway. Whenever in doubt, it’s better to stay on the safe side.
Unless they have spoiled, yes you can. However, the seeds may have gone rancid and the taste is inferior. Don’t consume it if the old seeds are bad.
Food poisoning can happen after consuming contaminated food, not necessarily pumpkin seeds only but also other food. Do not consume moldy or suspicious-looking pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin seeds are high in fiber. When consumed in large amounts they may cause gassy stomach or bloating.
Eat pumpkin seeds in moderation. Although known as a good source of nutrients, pumpkin seeds are rich in fat and also high in calories. An ounce of roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds (28 gr) is equal to 163 kcal (*).
Yes, many people do. Pumpkin seeds are commonly eaten both raw and roasted. But, if you are doubtful due to certain health conditions, it is best to consult your doctor.
To recap, pumpkin seeds are edible seeds packed with essential nutrients for our bodies. Although pumpkin seeds are good to keep for quite long, these healthy bits will go bad eventually.
Going rancid, growth of molds, and off-smell are common indications that pumpkin seeds have gone bad and should be discarded. Practice good hygiene and proper storage to maximize the shelf life of pumpkin seeds.
*Photo by denio109/depositphotos