The shells of pumpkin seeds, also called husks or seed coats are just as edible as the kernel they protect.
Yellow-white in color they have a crunchy texture when roasted. The pumpkin shell provides extra fiber while most of the nutrients are in the green "hulled" seed.
Also known as pepitas, pumpkin seeds are dark green, flat and tender. Pumpkin seeds have a subtle sweet flavor with strong nutty accents.
- 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 pumpkin seeds in hot or cold cereals (oatmeal in particular).
- Try pumpkin seeds in your favorite granola bar or cookie recipe. Pumpkin pairs nicely 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!
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. We are encouraging you to snack on both the shell and seed.
Method ~ How-to roast your own pumpkin seeds!
Dry seeds on a paper towel.
I got impatient and ended up using my hair dryer on high heat but low pulse setting. And it worked well! Just don't blow them off the counter top.
*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*
They are ready when the shell is super crispy and easy to bite through.
Pop a few into your mouth when they cool to test them. You don't want the inner seed to turn brown.
The key is to not burn them. So depending on your oven, check them before the 8 minute mark if it runs hot.
But just wait till you taste them in your next salad, you won't regret that added flavor.
And the smell wafting from your oven....unbelievable.
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? But pumpkin seeds are right in your diet and free! And sleep truly rules.