Well Gal

Toast Some Pumpkin Seeds for a Nutrient-Rich Snack!

Every year when we carve pumpkins as a family, I always set the seeds aside for roasting. Granted, it’s not always fun sorting them from the gooey, stringy insides, but it’s well worth it!

Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas in Latin markets, are an easy and tasty snack that you can season with herbs and spices a myriad number of ways. And they are super nutritious and good for you! Full of protein, healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, and more, they are a great addition to our diet as women. I must add that they are great to add to salads in place of croutons, too!

The breakdown of minerals in pumpkin seeds includes manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, zinc, and iron. In terms of vitamins, they contain many, such as B6, niacin, and folate. So, if you’re popping pills hoping to bulk up on one or more of these nutrients, consider forgoing supplements in favor of pumpkin seeds! Your bodily more readily absorbs nutrients from whole foods than supplements. Plus, whole foods offer a diverse range of nutrients that you can’t sometimes find in supplements as in the case of Vitamin E – over four different forms of it can be found in pumpkin seeds as this study shows.

For more details on pumpkin seeds, check out this handy nutrition summary by SELF magazine. It includes helpful facts like glycemic index, protein content, fatty acids, calories, etc.

Still not convinced? These little nutrient wonders also offer a full range of beneficial antioxidants, which means they are great at fighting oxidative stress in our bodies and preventing disease! Studies have shown that some of the nutrients in pumpkin seeds may help with diabetes, assist in the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), decrease cancer risk, and even alleviate insomnia, so why not give them a try?

Ghee Garlic Pumpkin Seeds

If you don’t have any fresh seeds, you can also find raw pumpkin seeds in natural food markets year-round. They’re often available in the bulk section.

  1. Place pumpkin seeds in a colander and rinse them in cold water.
  2. Lay on a clean dish towel to dry. Pat dry if necessary.
  3. Toss the seeds in melted ghee, fine-grained sea salt, and garlic powder. (Ghee is suggested because it can withstand high heat conditions unlike butter, which still contains milk solids and water. It can also be tolerated by those who are lactose intolerant.)
  4. Roast them on a flat baking sheet in a 325-degree oven for 15-25 minutes. Sitr as needed to ensure even browning.
  5. After they cool, taste them to see if more salt or seasoning is needed.
  6. Enjoy these tasty, crunchy treats!
  7. If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container.

Copyright © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2012. All rights reserved.
Photo © Karen Peltier

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