Today we have a Halloween edition of Good For You Friday! Pumpkin carving is a widely popular Halloween activity, so today I’m going to share a little info about all those glorious seeds inside.
Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are one of the healthiest seeds. Although they are available all year, autumn is when they are best; you can roast them yourself while they are fresh. These little seeds are packed with nutrients. Just one handful contains your entire daily serving of magnesium, which promotes heart and bone health.
They are also high in fiber, zinc, manganese, potassium, selenium, vitamin K, copper and iron. The seeds contain calcium and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Also, 5 of the B vitamins are found in pumpkin seeds, and just ¼ cup gives you good percentages of each.
Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of protein; just one handful of roasted seeds contains about 19 grams. They also contain phytosterols, which help to lower cholesterol and help protect the prostate gland. A standard serving of pumpkin seeds is ¼ cup – which contains almost 300 calories and about 2 grams of fiber. They can be eaten raw or roasted – and make a great snack to munch on!
Cooking with Pumpkin Seeds
- Mixed into muffins, cookies or breads
- Garnish for breads or soups
- Sautéed with vegetables
- Sprinkled onto salads
- Stirred into oatmeal or hot breakfast cereal
- Tossed into trail mix
Pumpkin seeds should be refrigerated in an airtight contain and can be kept for 1-2 months, or frozen for up to 6 months.
Removing seeds from a pumpkin
Separate seeds from pulp and place seeds into a medium bowl.
Soak seeds in water for 5-10 minutes. While they soak the remaining pulp will separate from the seeds, leaving them clean and pulp-free.
Strain the seeds and lay them out on a clean kitchen towel to dry, about 8 hours or overnight.
Once seeds are completely dry they can be seasoned and roasted. Roasting the seeds at a lower temperature helps keep the oils inside the seed – which is what makes them so good for you!
- Pumpkin seeds, cleaned and dry
- Sea Salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 170
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Spread seeds in a single layer on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes.