If you’ve been throwing out the seeds when you carve pumpkins every Halloween, well, you’ve been missing out on a lot.
These edible kernels that you think are wastes are actually packed with essential nutrients, which may play a role in boosting your immune system, improving your eyesight, and so much more. Plus, they make a really tasty go-to snack. Well, who would have thought, right?
Learn more about the nutritional breakdown of pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas), as registered dietitian nutritionist Megan Ware discusses it on Medical News Today:
Pumpkin Seeds: Health Benefits, Nutritional Information
Pumpkin seeds are an edible seed typically roasted for consumption. They are a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine and are also often eaten as an individual snack. The seeds of the pumpkin are also commonly referred to as pepitas, Spanish for “little seed of squash.” Read more…
There are more uses that were not mentioned in the above article, though. Pumpkin seeds also help fight off cancer cells, which is one of their outstanding benefits. Read more about it on Diet of Life:
Pumpkin Seeds Can Kill Cancer Cells, Fight Diabetes And Improve Your Eyesight
You may be fond of many seeds, but pumpkin seeds are truly a precious gift of our Mother Nature. Both nuts and seeds make a very healthy and balanced diet. Pumpkin seeds are said to be dietary powerhouses as they contain good amounts of essential minerals such as copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Read more…
And of course, the benefits won’t be complete without a delicious way to prepare them. Better Homes and Gardens will show you how:
How to Bake Pumpkin Seeds
Before learning how to bake pumpkin seeds, you’ll want to choose a pumpkin with the best seeds. Pumpkin seeds from a carving or pie pumpkin work well, but avoid seeds from decorative white pumpkins. If you want to bake 1 cup of pumpkin seeds, purchase a 10- to 14-pound pumpkin. Smaller seeds are the best pumpkin seeds to bake; larger pumpkin seeds tend to pop in the oven and get tough. Read more…
So that’s the end of the nutritional breakdown of pumpkin seeds.
Bottom line? If you’re in the mood for a chewy snack, consume pumpkin seeds. They’re way better than packaged chips, and won’t drag your health down. You can also flavor them just the same by adding seasoning such as salt, chili, cinnamon and more.
Baking or roasting is perfect, but you can use them by adding them into burger, salad, soup, casserole, bread, biscuit, cookies, muffin, homemade granola bar, cereals, oatmeal, smoothies, and even in making your own dairy-free butter. You can honestly use them just like other seeds like flax and chia. When roasting, be sure not to cook them over 20 minutes, or you’ll lose some of their nutrients.
Also, if you plan to buy them at the grocery store or farmers market, be sure that they smell fresh. Spoiled smell may indicate contamination. For best results, just carve them out of the pumpkin yourself, or choose organic.