One of our Pack Health dietitians, Abby Harris, MS, RDN, writes on how to savor your pumpkin seeds this holiday season!

Fall is in the air! Nothing makes me more excited than cooler temperatures, warm sweaters, and all things pumpkin. One of my favorite activities this time of year is carving a pumpkin. I love to be creative, while also getting a festive outdoor decoration for my front porch! However, this year, I decided to take pumpkin carving to the next level. Instead of tossing the leftover pumpkin seeds, I saved them and got creative in the kitchen! Here are a few Tricks to turn your leftover seeds into Treats and how they can improve your health.

What are the Benefits?

Pumpkin seeds are often referred to as a Nutritional Powerhouse. They are filled with protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals that are vital for your health. Let’s take a closer look.

01 Protein
Despite their size, pumpkin seeds are filled with protein. One ounce has about 5 grams, making them a great addition to meals and snacks to keep you full and satisfied.

02 Omega 3’s
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fattys are a healthy fat our body needs to function. This important nutrient can lower your risk of heart disease and fight inflammation in the body.

03 Magnesium
One serving of pumpkin seeds (¼ cup) contains more than half the recommended daily value of magnesium. Magnesium is a vitamin shown to benefit high blood pressure and prevent serious health events, such as heart attacks and strokes.

04 Zinc
Pumpkins seeds are also a great source of zinc. Zinc is a vitamin important for immune support, balancing hormones, and can aid in muscle growth and repair.

How to Use Them

01 Eat them Plain. Pumpkin seeds can be eaten by themselves after roasting! Simply, wash the seeds and oil in water for about 10 minutes. Afterward, pat dry and toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Lastly, roast in the oven on a baking sheet at 375 ? for 12-15 minutes.

02 Add to salads. Top your salads with a handful of pumpkin seeds for extra nutrition and perfect crunch. My favorite mix is arugula, goat cheese, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and a vinaigrette dressing of your choice.

03 Top Your Oatmeal. Use your favorite oatmeal recipe and add 2 tablespoons of roasted pumpkin seeds. They are the perfect addition to your morning breakfast routine.

04 Create a trail mix. Create a healthy snack by using pumpkin seeds in a trail mix. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and dark chocolate chips make an awesome mix.

05 Make a granola. Use your seeds to make a delicious snack that can be eaten on its own or used as a yogurt topping. See the recipe below.

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Want more tips and recipes?

 

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