Open up a pumpkin, and suddenly your countertop is covered in a seemingly useless mountain of pumpkin seeds. Before you automatically dispose of them, let it be known the pumpkin’s insides are actually a hidden culinary gem. Here are six ways to prove that.

Toasted Seeds: Perhaps the simplest way to repurpose your pumpkin seeds is to dust them in spices and slip them into the oven to toast. It’s a perfect way to enjoy the #pumpkinspice craze while still maintaining a healthy diet. After all, you’ll be baking the rest of the pumpkin into a pie, right?

Seed Brittle: If you can’t resist indulging in autumn’s seasonal license for sweets, then transform your pumpkin seeds into another treat. Envelope your toasted seeds in a deeply caramelized coat of crunchy brittle, and then maximize the pumpkin binge by adding in pumpkin spice. Don’t be surprised if this beats out pumpkin pie as your favorite pumpkin-y treat.

Dips: Give hummus a unique spin by swapping out a portion of the chickpeas for pumpkin seeds. Or you can go all out and make a Mexican-flavored pumpkin seed dip like the Mayans used to do — it’s called sikil pak.

Pesto: Substitute pine nuts for pumpkin seeds and see what happens to your kitchen creativity levels. Suddenly, pesto-based pizza and pasta become a gourmet experience even though it’s just a random weeknight.

Seed Butter: Instead of using pricey walnuts, cashews, and almonds for alternative nut butters, throw roasted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) into the food processor and transform them into a rich and creamy spread that will have you questioning everything you thought you knew about peanut butter and jelly.

Nut Milk: Rinse and soak your pumpkin seeds overnight (you can even throw some cashews in the mix for additional creaminess) and then blend them into a dairy-free milk. Add it to smoothies or use it as a creamy base for soups. Either way, the autumnal notes of pumpkin will become an irreplaceable complement to your cold-weather recipes.

What other creative ways have you used your leftover pumpkin seeds this fall? Let us know @BritandCo.

(Photos via Unsplash Daria Nepriakhina/Gaelle Marcel)