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Don't throw the seeds away!

Pumkin seeds can be roasted, boiled, dehydrated and even microwaved. They make a healthy snack or a tasty addition to salads, soups, sautéed vegetables and baked goods.

 

A health and nourishing snack, pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, niacin, folic acid, riboflavin, thiamin, and others. They also contain pantothenic acid, unsaturated oils, and antioxidants. The seeds also contain large amounts of calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin B.

At first glance, roasting the pulp-covered seeds may seem daunting, but it’s really very easy.

Put the seeds - pulp and all - in a big bowl of water and rub them vigorously with your hands to clean them up. Don’t worry if there’s a bit of pulp and string left on the seeds; it will come off easily after the seeds are prepared.

Roasting pumpkin seeds

For roasting, spray a cookie sheet with vegetable oil and place the seeds in a single layer.

Lightly spray the tops of the seeds with vegetable oil and salt to taste. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or until the seeds are lightly browned.

If you are avoiding salt, add any flavouring you like. That can include cheese you put on popcorn, garlic, or anything, and you can also roast them with no salt or flavouring.

Here are a few other flavour ideas:

You can prepare savoury seeds with garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce.

Or what about seeds flavoured with cinnamon, ground ginger and allspice?

You can make the seeds spicy by adding thyme and cayenne pepper.

Roasted pumpkin seeds also make a terrific, healthy snack. They’re a great source of minerals, protein and mono-unsaturated fat.

50 g of pumpkin seeds provides a third of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of zinc. adult's zinc requirements. But don't snack too many - they are high in calories.

So don’t throw the seeds away. Instead, make a yummy end to pumpkin-carving season by preparing and sharing these slightly sweet, crunchy seeds.

Health benefits of pumpkin seeds:

Because they are high in zinc, pumpkin seeds are a natural protector against osteoporosis. Low intake of zinc is linked to higher rates of osteoporosis.

Pumpkin seeds effectively reduce inflammation without the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs and further investigation has revealed that pumpkin seeds, unlike drugs used to treat arthritis, do not increase the level of damaged fats (lipid peroxides) in the linings of the joints - a side-effect that actually contributes to the progression of arthritis.

Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols, compounds that that have been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol. These same phytosterols that lower cholesterol also protect against many cancers.

GOOD TO KNOW
Before you dig into a bowl of pumpkin seeds, eat in moderation. They might be health but they're also high in calories!

Additional reading...

http://www.pumpkinseed.net.au

http://www.health24.com

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/pumpkin-seeds.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpkin