brown seeds on brown wooden surface

How Long Do Pumpkin Seeds Last? – Can They Go Bad?

Whether you bought them at a store or roasted them yourself after making some jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin seeds are really good for your health. But, how long can you keep them before they go bad?

Well, if you bought them from a store, just check the expiry date. However, if you made them yourself, the answer to this question can be a little complex. How did you prepare the seeds?

The consensus indicates that pumpkin seeds have a shelf life of up to 3 months when kept at room temperature. Under refrigeration, they can keep for up to a year.

The sweet seeds can be consumed raw if you like, as they have a good concentration of minerals like zinc, magnesium, vitamin K, and manganese.

If you would like to know some useful information about pumpkin seeds, their nutrition value, and how to keep them edible for long, let’s take a deep dive into the details.

How to Prepare Pumpkin Seeds for Later Use

So, you’ve made your jack-o-lanterns, or you cut open a pumpkin for its delicious core and made some pie. What do you do with the seeds after that? Throwing them away is one option, but as you will find out when we discuss the health benefits, it is good to keep them for later consumption.

How long the pumpkin seeds last does not just depend on storage methods but also on how you prepare them.

That is why we will talk about how to prepare them when you’ve cut them out of the pumpkin.

Here’s how you save the pumpkin seeds after you cut the pumpkin itself open.

Remove the pulpy part containing the seeds from inside the pumpkin and place it in a colander.
Take the colander and place it under running water to make sure that the pulp washes off.
As the water is running, please pick up the washed seeds and rinse them again to ensure that they do not have any pulp stuck on them.

NOTE: Do not wait to wash the seeds later because the pulp is sticky and becomes harder to deal with later on. Wash them immediately after extracting them from inside the pumpkin.

Of course, if you have a garden, you should keep some of them to plant later. The ones you want to consume later is what we are dealing with here.
Choose the biggest seeds as they contain more of the nutrients we need.
Take the seeds and place them on a paper towel. Space them out to ensure that as they dry, they do not stick together in a clump.
You can use a large tray to dry them as well.
They need to be truly dry to ensure that once you store them for later consumption, they do not form mould.

The preparation step focuses on making sure that they are clean of all pulp, properly dried, and stored in a cool, dry place where they have no chance of interacting with humid air to form mould.

How to Store Pumpkin Seeds Bought from A Store

Storing pumpkin seeds is a process that requires you to focus on keeping them dry. There are several options you can go with here. Whereas you can store your chia seeds in the pantry, this location is not so good for pumpkin seeds.

The storage methods all depend on how long you plan to keep the seeds around.

As long as you do not open the pack, you can keep it in the pantry or the kitchen. Always make sure that the areas are cool, dry, and away from direct sunlight or sources of heat.

After you open the original packing in which they are stored, you should keep a few things in mind.

Make sure that the original packaging is sealed tightly.
If it cannot be resealed, you should transfer the seeds into a freezer bag. The reason for this is because the pumpkin seeds can become rancid with each time you open them.
If you are going to open the package several times a day, it is better to transfer some of the seeds into a temporary container that you can use for your daily seed needs.
After you finish what’s in the temporary contained, you can unseal the bag again and move a few seeds to avoid exposing them to the air.

Temperature is one of the things you will need to keep in mind. If you know that the seeds you bought will be around for a while, you should consider refrigerating most of them and only have a few of them in your temporary container for easy access.

NOTE: A ‘long time’ in this context means more than 2-3 months. If you can finish them before that, they have no chance of going bad. If you cannot finish them before that, refrigerate the portion you aren’t using.

After you open the package, you can always keep the seeds longer if you get a freezer bag and keep them ‘on ice,’ extending their timeline to a little longer than a year. Although, if we are serious, keeping a bag of seeds for more than a year means you are not consuming as many of them as you should, or maybe you saved too many.

A Little More Detail About How Long Pumpkin Seeds Last

The pumpkin seeds you get in a store have a best-by date on the label. They do not spoil or go bad a week or days after the date. Typically, pumpkin seeds in an unopened container should remain fresh for 1 to 3 months past the date shown on the label.

After you open the container, the quality of the seeds starts to degrade faster. It is not possible to say for sure how long they will take to go bad.

A few considerations have to be made. First, where are you storing them? What are the conditions? What’s the temperature? How often do you open the container?

If you take care not to open them too frequently and store them in a cool and dry place, they will retain their freshness for longer. The best we can do at this point is to come up with guesstimates on how long they should last.

ü  If the seeds are stored in the pantry, try to finish them within 2 to 3 months.

ü  If you are keeping them in the fridge, you should finish them within 6 to 9 months.

ü  In a freezer, they should keep for longer than a year.

Now that you know how long you can keep pumpkin seeds when they are stored properly, let’s learn something about telling when pumpkin seeds have gone bad.

How to Know When the Pumpkin Seeds Are Unsafe to Eat

The signs are typical, meaning you can tell just by looking at them or smelling them. If you see mould, a change in colour, or an odour that is not what you’re used to, throw them out.

If they have not changed in any way, it means that they are probably safe to eat. However, even if they do not seem outright odd, you should taste them slightly to see if the taste stays the same. If they taste sour, stale, or rotten, you should throw them out.

Rancid pumpkin seeds are not necessarily bad. The rancidity sometimes means that they have lost most of their nutritional value and will not benefit you much. On top of that, they don’t taste good.

Are Pumpkin Seeds That Good?

Yes, they are. They may be small, but they pack a nutritional punch you will appreciate with consistent use. As we mentioned earlier, they can provide you with a considerable amount of healthy fats, zinc, and magnesium.

They are associated with several health benefits that we think you’ll like to enjoy. Some of the issues they can help with include protection against some forms of cancer, heart issues, and prostate health.

Some of the benefits you will enjoy include:

Eating one ounce of shell-free pumpkin seeds will give you about 151 calories from protein and fat. The ounce also contains manganese, vitamin K, omega-6 fats, carbs, fibre, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, and protein.
They contain antioxidants and a small amount of polyunsaturated fats, Vitamin B12, folate, and potassium.
A study found out that eating the seeds is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. This was especially in postmenopausal women. They play a significant role in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. They can slow down the growth of prostate cancer cells as well.
They are a great source of magnesium used in controlling blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease, forming and keeping bones healthy, regulating blood sugar, and improving heart health.

There are many reasons to eat pumpkin seeds or blend them into your smoothies.

The best thing you can do to make sure that you get your daily intake is to store them properly and finish them on time so they do not spoil.



See also
How Long Do Limes Last? Can They Go Bad?

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