Pumpkin Seed Delight

As pumpkin sales skyrocket this week, consider the delicious insides of the orange squash as well as the outer shell. Why spend your hard earned money on a pumpkin to carve…but discard those delicious and nutritious seeds? Munch on this recipe after carving your jack-o-lantern, as a well-suited appetizer to your sweet Halloween treats!

Why Pumpkin Seeds Are Worth It

So you open up your new pumpkin and look inside…only to see an orange gloop of sticky seeds. Despite their initial stickiness, pumpkin seeds actually have several health benefits, providing the body with natural minerals like:

  • Magnesium (aids heart health)
  • Zinc (aids the immune system)
  • Plant-Based Omega-3 Fats
  • Fiber (aids blood sugar and digestive health)
  • Antioxidants and Fibers

Pumpkin seeds also serve up a variety of minerals and anti-microbial properties, and even have shown signs of anti-diabetic and cancer-related benefits. Check out The World’s Healthiest Foods, One Green Planet, Mercola, and Mother Nature Network for more amazing facts!

Roasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe (via Simply Recipes)

Ingredients: 

1 medium pumpkin

salt

olive oil

pumpkinseeds

Photo courtesy of Babble.com

1. If the top of the pumpkin hasn’t already been removed, cut a circle around the stem and remove the top.

2. Use a large metal spoon or specialty scoop to remove the seeds, flesh, and strings from inside the pumpkin.

3. Place all of the pumpkin insides into a colander and run under the faucet, rinsing the seeds and separating them from the bunch.

4. Measure the pumpkin seeds in a cup measure, then place the seeds in a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to the pan for every half cup of pumpkin seeds. Add more salt if you would like your seeds to be saltier.

5. Bring the water to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Afterwards, remove and drain.

6. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat the bottom of a thick baking sheet with olive oil and spread the seeds out over the pan in a single layer. Toss them a bit to coat them with the oil. Bake on the top rack until the seeds begin to brown, 5-20 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds.

7. **Optional**: For extra kick, sprinkle the seeds with spices such as smoked paprika, cumin, or chile powder before they go into the oven.

8. Once lightly browned and fully cooked, remove the pan from the oven and let cool on a rack. Be sure to let the pumpkin seeds cool all the way down before eating. (Keep in mind that unshelled seeds are known to contain more zinc than shelled kernels!)

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Happy Halloween from The Purple Fig!

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