So, you just carved that jack-o-lantern, huh? You chiseled, sawed, and sliced away. You also gutted its innards, so now stringy orange slime has taken up residence on your kitchen floor.
Well, you could trash the goop. Or, you could extract the pumpkin seeds and turn them into something fabulous. I don’t know about you, but Option #2 has my personal vote!
Many of us already associate roasting pumpkin seeds as a tasty fall tradition. But, were you aware that these festive little munchies are also nutritional powerhouses? Uh huh. They’re regular superfoods. According to an article posted on the alternative medicine website, Mercola.com, here are some health benefits of our pal, Mr. Pumpkin Seed:
- Magnesium for cardiovascular circulation, DNA/RNA synthesis, and skeletal strength
- Zinc for immune system support, cell growth/division, insulin regulation, and enhanced senses
- Omea-3s for anti-inflammation, blood oxygenation, and defense against cognitive aging.
- Tryptophan for melatonin/seratonin production, resulting in a restful sleep cycle
- Fiber for bowel normalization, decreased cholesterol, and maintaining a healthy weight
- Antioxidants for protection against free radicals and harmful UVA skin exposure
There. That’s all the persuasion you need. Now, go roast those seeds for a savory afternoon pick-me-up that you can feel great about!
(And, just in case you need pointers on pre-cleaning the seeds before cooking them, I borrowed this simple strategy from SimplyRecipes.com: After scooping out the pumpkin’s flesh, transfer a large handful of seeds into a colander and run them under a strong stream of water until they have been separated from the flesh).
- 1 tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1 tsp. Chili Powder
- 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika
- 1 c. Pumpkin Seeds (pulp removed)
- In a small skillet, pre-heat the olive oil on a medium stove-top setting.
- Add the pumpkin seeds into the pan and season them with sea salt.
- Reduce the heat to low, then saute the seeds for 3-5 minutes, while stirring.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Transfer the seeds onto the baking sheet and spread them around evenly.
- Sprinkle the seeds with chili powder and smoked paprika, to taste.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and allow to roast for 5-10 minutes.
- Once these seeds have turned golden brown, remove them from the oven.
- Let them cool before eating, then nibble to your heart’s content on this healthy seasonal snack!