With Halloween coming up at the end of the month, there will be plenty of gorgeous pumpkins being carved and enjoyed over the next few weeks. Keep in mind when you scoop out all of the seeds that they are a quick and easy snack to prepare and enjoy. Whatever you do with them, please do not throw them away!
Pumpkin seeds are a delicious treat packed with antioxidants, proteins and fibre, making them a highly nutritious snack and a versatile ingredient to enjoy in many dishes.
Pumpkins originate from the Americas and have been treasured for centuries due to their incredible health benefits, by many Native American tribes. Trade and worldwide explorations helped the popularity of pumpkins to spread to other parts of the globe, where other nations adopted the seeds, embracing them as an essential element of their culinary and medicinal traditions.
Prepare & Roast
Having removed the seeds from the cavity of your pumpkin, separate them from the pulp and leave them on a plate or tray to dry out overnight. To roast them the following day, spread them out in a single layer on a baking tray, and place in a preheated oven at around 100°C for 20 minutes.
Personally, I like to cover them with a good shake of sea salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper prior to roasting them as this is the way I prefer to enjoy them. This is, however optional, you may wish to roast yours without, or alternatively, you could experiment with different seasonings to suit your own taste buds!
Delicious Straight Out Of The Oven
There are so many ways to use and enjoy pumpkin seeds, try adding them to all kinds of salads or sprinkle on top of hearty soups and stews. I roast a tray of these at least once a week at this time of year and by the time the tray has cooled down the entire batch have been eaten already, so we are yet to try any of these options. They are so moreish and delicious they are never around for more than 10 minutes in our place!
A Diverse Range Of Antioxidants
Pumpkin seeds are packed with a variety of essential minerals including zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese and copper, many of which are unique antioxidant nutrients that help to maintain good health.
The seeds also contain several different types of vitamin E, which is excellent for your skin among many other things. I am not going to bore you with long, unpronounceable types of antioxidant nutrients that will in all likeliness mean nothing to you, but trust me, these little seed bombs are brimming with good stuff, special types of nutrients that you would struggle to find in other food sources.
Pumpkin Seeds Can Make You Feel Good
L-tryptophan is used in melatonin and serotonin production, which can ultimately help to make you feel more relaxed and happy and (you guessed it) pumpkin seeds are a great source of this fantastic amino acid.
Try snacking on seeds to combat some of the symptoms associated with anxiety, depression and insomnia naturally. Many people find that they really help.
Our bodies rely on magnesium to regulate nerve and muscle function, blood pressure and blood sugars; it also plays a key role in the promotion of protein production and helps to strengthen bones.
Adding a few handfuls of pumpkin seeds to your regular diet is an easy way to boost your magnesium intake.
A Rich Source Of Potassium
A humble cup of pumpkin seeds will provide you with more potassium than an average sized banana. Potassium is an important mineral, which can help to reduce bone loss, regulate blood pressure, and enables the body to regulate fluids more efficiently.
Kick-Start Your Immune System
A single cup of pumpkin seeds provides you with a large percentage of the RDA for zinc, a crucial mineral for strengthening the immune system and making your body more resistant to common colds and other illnesses.
Preaching To The Converted?
The chances are that I am preaching to the converted and you already make a habit of roasting your pumpkin seeds. However, if you happen to be one of the many people who have unwittingly been discarding these delicious seeds for years, here’s hoping that this year you choose to roast and enjoy them instead!