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Powerful Pumpkin Seeds

09 November

Pumpkin Seeds TextThere’s a lot of talk these days about exotic “super foods.” But we’d like to nominate the plain, old Pumpkin as a member in the super food club, and encourage you to go buy a few of those pumpkins that are on sale now that Halloween is behind us.

First off, yes, you can {and should, more on that in a second} eat pumpkin. And, no, not only in pie {though you should definitely do that as well!}. Open up your pumpkin as if you were making a jack-o-lantern, and scrape out the strings and seeds {but save those seeds and check out our recipe for them below!). Now, see all that light orange flesh that is so tricky to carve through? That’s the super food jackpot!

Little known fact: The stuff in the can is still loaded with benefits too, so don’t let your hesitation to tackle the whole pumpkin steer you away from pumpkin entirely.

Pumpkin flesh is rich in vitamins A, C and E.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means it supports a healthy body by counteracting free radicals. Vitamin C also supports a healthy immune system, and it helps the body absorb iron. Vitamin A helps keep the mucus membranes {like in your nasal passages, lungs and gut lining} strong and intact.  Those membranes keep pathogens out of the body: when your nose runs and your eyes water, that’s your body trying to keep you healthy, the immune system’s first line of defense!

Pumpkin flesh and seeds are also replete with minerals: copper, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium and manganese. Of these, zinc is an important support to the immune system.

Pumpkin flesh also provides us with B complex vitamins and fiber.

>>Check out Rye’s Winter Squash blog post to see
how to roast pumpkin in 3 easy steps!

Pumpkin seeds provide fiber, essential fatty acids & lots of minerals.

{See the above list!}

Recent studies report that both pumpkin seeds and flesh have anti-inflammatory properties, and the vitamin C that pumpkin gives us is an essential part of the production of collagen, one of the most common connective tissues in our bodies. So pumpkin can be helpful in joint health too! Nifty, eh?

Our favorite aspect of pumpkin, though, is happiness. You notice it at a glance: a bright, orange gourd of joy. But it also contains L-tryptophan, a chemical in our bodies that stimulates feelings of well-being and happiness! For us, this joy is furthered by pumpkin’s culinary versatility: savory or sweet, baked, pureed, or stuffed, pumpkin is a super food we can all love.

The real question is: how do you like to enjoy your superfood pumpkin? Inspire us!

Powerful Pumpkin SeedsCropped Pumpkin Seeds

*pumpkin seeds, as many as your pumpkin yields
*coconut oil
*sea salt
*smoked paprika

1. Preheat oven to 325.  Scoop seeds out of the pumpkin.  Detach them from the really big globs of stringy stuff, but don’t worry about cleaning or rinsing them.
2. Spread pumpkin seeds on a baking pan in as close to a single layer as possible.  Don’t add anything yet!  Just put the pan in the oven for 30 minutes.
3. Now take them out of the oven and add coconut oil {we used about 2 Tb for 2 cups of seeds}, sea salt {we used about 3 tsp for 2 cups of seeds}, cumin {we used about 1 1/2 tsp for 2 cups of seeds} and smoked paprika {we used about 3/4 tsp for 2 cups of seeds}.  Mix well.
4. Return pan to the oven, and bake for 20 minutes more.  Take seeds out, stir to mix all the spices in well, and enjoy!

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Liz Flint-Somerville, Nutritional Consultant

Liz was a partner in Grub for 3 amazing years and helped author many of our most beloved recipes and posts. She is now dedicating her time to caring for her family, writing poetry, and continuing to cook delicious Real Foods.

2 Responses to “Powerful Pumpkin Seeds”

  1. Heather November 10, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

    I just cleaned out a pumpkin to use the seeds and make pumpkin bread. So great I found your email. Love you ladies. Thanks!

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