Hello, fall. Are you wondering what to do with all the “guts” after carving pumpkins this year?
Fortunately, pumpkin seeds are packed with lots of minerals and healthy oils to give you plenty of nutrition in a small quantity.
Pumpkin seeds are one of the best natural sources of magnesium, which plays a role in controlling blood pressure and maintaining bone health. These small seeds are also good sources of other minerals including phosphorus, manganese, copper, zinc and iron. Consider, 1 ounce (about ¼ cup) of pumpkin seeds packs:
- Calories: 151
- Carbohydrates: 5 grams
- Protein: 7 grams
- Magnesium: 37 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake
- Phosphorus: 33 percent of the RDI
- Manganese: 42 percent of the RDI
- Copper: 19 percent of the RDI
- Zinc: 14 percent of the RDI
- Iron: 23 percent of the RDI
Still not sold? Pumpkin seeds also have a diverse mixture of antioxidants that are not widely found in food. Due to this property, pumpkin seeds work to combat inflammation and cell damage all day — perhaps more than other antioxidant containing foods!
Pumpkin seeds are sometimes referred to as pepitas, which is Spanish for “little seed of squash." If you shell your pumpkin seeds, you will find a small green seed inside — the pepita! Instead of shelling all the seeds from your pumpkin, roasting and eating them is much more fun. Try preparing your own pumpkin seeds this fall to sprinkle on top of salads or to grab for a quick snack on the go.
Check out this pumpkin seeds recipe from bonappetit.com for seasoning ideas!
1. Scrape seeds and any attached fibers from pumpkin using a large metal spoon. Place seeds in a colander and rinse well to help separate seeds from fibers. Set seeds aside. Cook seeds in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until beginning to look translucent, 5-7 minutes. Drain and transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet; pat well to dry.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread seeds on a rimmed baking sheet, toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until golden and crisp, 12 — 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
Spice It Up
After seasoning seeds with olive oil, salt and pepper, toss with one of the following combinations:
Fiery: Cayenne pepper and smoked paprika
Pumpkin Pie: Cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and allspice
Italian: Rosemary, shredded parmesan, red pepper flakes, and granulated garlic
Chocolate: Cocoa powder, orange zest, powdered sugar
Lindsey Kotecki is a master's student, studying sports nutrition at the University of Utah.