Snack in Season: Pumpkin Seeds

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Guest blogger Rebecca Kennedy

This post was written by guest blogger Rebecca Kennedy.

Carving a jack o’lantern this month? Don’t throw out those seeds!

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are not only tasty, but amazingly good for you. Solid sources of protein, fiber, and essential minerals like magnesium, manganese, potassium, and zinc, they contribute to health and well-being in diverse ways, from boosting immunity and lowering cholesterol to supporting optimal eye and heart health and helping prevent kidney stones and depression.

As you can see, these little guys pack quite the nutritional punch! So instead of discarding them after you’ve hollowed out your Halloween pumpkin, keep them for a tasty seasonal snack or garnish.

pumpkin fibers and seedsTo prepare seeds straight from a hollowed-out pumpkin, clean off the stringy pumpkin “guts” as best as you can. Place the seeds in a strainer and rinse in cold water. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the seeds, and boil for around 5–10 minutes. Drain and place on paper towels to dry. Store in an airtight container for several days. You can eat them raw or roasted.

If you wish to roast them, toss dry seeds with some olive oil. For added flavour, add salt or a savoury seasoning like cinnamon or cumin. Spread seeds uniformly across a large baking sheet. Roast in a 120°C/250°F oven for about one hour, gently tossing every 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

Quick and Tasty Uses:

  1. Eat roasted seeds solo for a satisfying movie snack.
  2. Throw a spoonful on top of a salad or yogurt.
  3. Add seeds to trail mix or granola.
  4. Garnish autumn soups or stews.
  5. Serve them with a cheese plate.

What’s your favourite way to eat pumpkin seeds?

Acknowledgments: 100 Best Health Foods: Power Ingredients and 100 Nutritious Recipes to Improve Your Health, Greatist, Mayo Clinic, Whole Foods