Carving a pumpkin this weekend? Save those seeds!
Pumpkin seeds are powerhouses of nutrition, boasting the following benefits, and more:
– Excellent source of Zinc, boosting immunity throughout the cold & flu season
– One of the few foods that increase in nutritional value as they age. Tests have shown protein content increases exponentially in storage. Be sure to refrigerate or freeze them, so they don’t become rancid, however.
– Phytosterols help reduce LDL Cholesterol
– Great anti-inflammatory food! May provide some relief for those with arthritis
– Runs the gamut for B-Vitamin content. Contains riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and folate. This spells E-N-E-R-G-Y for you!
– Those same B Vitamins also help support a healthy Metabolism
– L-tryptophan content aids in sleep, as well as contributes to alleviating depression symptoms
– A few studies have shown that Pumpkin Seeds may assist in preventing formation of kidney stones
These are just some of the many benefits of eating pumpkin seeds regularly.
While I have posted a basic recipe for seed roasting below, it’s not the only way to enjoy them!
You can also add seeds to loaves of bread, top cereal or yogurt, add to soups, ground into meatloaf, combine with grains or beans to make vegetarian “burgers”, use in desserts(top a pumpkin cheesecake or pie with whipped cream and candied pumpkin seeds!), in pilafs, salads, chopped with goat cheese, and much more. Use your imagination, and enjoy them year round for the most health benefit.
Basic Roasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe
– Pumpkin Seeds
-Oil of choice (I recommend pumpkin seed oil or olive oil)
– OPTIONAL: Cayenne, Paprika, Cinnamon/Sugar, Oregano, Parmesan, etc. from spicy to sweet, you can make many different versions to suit any palate.
– Preheat oven to 375F
– Rinse pumpkin seeds in a colander to clean, then boil seeds for 10 minutes in moderately salted water.
-Remove from boiling water, and strain. Lightly pat with paper towels to dry.
– In a gallon sized Zip-Loc bag, pour just enough oil to coat seeds lightly. Add seeds, then shake until all seeds are coated.
– With seeds still in bag, add desired amount of salt, and any additional spices. Shake to coat.
– Pour seeds out onto ungreased baking sheet, spreading evenly.
– Place in oven, and bake for up to 25 minutes, checking progress and stirring every 5 minutes or so. Seeds are done when very lightly browned.
– Let cool, and enjoy!
Refrigerated in an airtight container, will keep for approximately 2 weeks. You may also freeze them for longer shelf life.