- They make a wonderful substitute for sliced almonds in salads at a fraction of the cost but with all that nutty flavor.
- Add pumpkin seeds to healthy sautéed vegetables.
- Use them in hot or cold cereals (oatmeal in particular).
- Try them in your favorite granola bar or cookie recipe. They're nice with raisins.
- Grind your pumpkin seeds with garlic, parsley and cilantro. Mix in a little olive oil and lemon juice for a knock-out salad dressing!
- Chock-full of nutrients, make pumpkin seeds your 3 p.m. pick-me-up snack!
And while it is possible to extract the seed from the shell, it's hardly worth your time. If it's the "hulled" seed you're after, it's better to buy them in bulk from the grocery store because they're so cheap. This post is about snacking on the shell and seed.
1.) Wash pumpkin seeds well using a bowl or colander. I prefer a colander to a bowl because the water drains out while you're removing the pumpkin guts from the seeds. But if you use a bowl, the one advantage is that the seeds float to the top (but easily spill over and down the sink they go.)
*If you have the time, it may be beneficial to lay your pumpkin seeds on a paper bag or towel and let them dry out overnight. But that makes this a two-day project and I was ready to roast*
1.) Plant-based Omega Fatty 3-fats (essential fatty acids). It's critical to get some of your omega 3's from animal sources like fish. However; raw nuts and seeds, pumpkin seeds in particular are one of the best sources of of EFA's.
2.) Zinc so you don't get sick. Your body loves zinc for immunity, cell growth, sleep & mood boosts, and overall skin health.
3.) Anti-inflammatory benefits. No drug side effects here!
4.) Heart healthy magnesium. 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds contain half of the amount of magnesium you need each day. And magnesium has been shown to benefit blood pressure, and help prevent sudden heart attack, stroke, and cardiac arrest. What's not to love?
5.) Anti-diabetic effects. Pumpkin seeds help improve insulin regulation and decrease oxidative stress.
6.) Prostrate health. Men love pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seeds love men's health. Make your man some pumpkin seeds now.
7.) Postmenopausal woman. Pumpkin seeds have a lot of that good HDL cholesterol. And studies have shown it can decrease blood pressure, hot flashes, headaches, & joint pains. All good things!
8.) Heart & liver health. Yes, high in calories, but also high in those healthy fats and antioxidants that your heart and liver love.
9.) Tryptophan for restful sleep. Your body takes that tryptophan and turns it into serotonin which gets converted into melatonin, the "sleep hormone." And we've all bought those bottles of melatonin from the grocery store, right? Especially when they're BOGO. But pumpkin seeds are right in your diet and free! And sleep truly rules.