Pumpkin seeds are traditionally a fall favorite. Not only are they a delicious snack, they have the power to transform our health and skin for the better. They promote prostate health, protect bones, lower cholesterol, show anti-inflammatory benefits and are packed with important minerals such as magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron, copper, protein and zinc.
These sweet seeds with a chewy texture are one of the most nutritious seeds around. Pumpkin seed oil is loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids and helps to keep hair shiny and skin clear. They are also a great source of zinc, which most Americans are deficient in. Zinc is an essential nutrient for keeping our skin looking great. It is important for skin repair and injury repair. It helps to battle acne as well as aids in proper skin cell construction. It is also known for speeding the regeneration of new skin following injuries such as scrapes, scratches or cuts.
Pumpkin seeds can be eaten raw, baked, roasted or toasted. They make a great snack—easy to take with you to work or the beach. Keep the seeds stored in a tightly sealed container in your fridge. You can also add them to sautéed vegetables or sprinkle on top of a salad. They can be added to your cereals, or can be used in cookies or homemade granola bars.
Start snacking on pumpkin seeds and help your body and skin stay healthy. Just ¼ to ½ cup of these nutty tasting seeds can help you get the right amount of zinc and unsaturated fatty acids in your diet. So don’t forget these little nutritional powerhouses. Enjoy them all year round’!
ROASTED PUMPKIN SEED SPREAD
By Gluten Free Girl
- – 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds you have scooped out of your pumpkin
- – 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- – 1 tablespoon olive oil
- – 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- – 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger powder
- – 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400*. Fill a large pot with 8 cups of water. Add the pumpkin seeds and salt. Set the pot to boil over high heat. Bring the water to a rolling boil and allow it to boil for a moment. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the pumpkin seeds simmer for 10 minutes. Drain the water from the seeds.
Put a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Pour the olive oil on the parchment paper and spread it out with your hands. Put the seeds on lightly oiled parchment. Sprinkle them with the smoked paprika, ginger, and pepper. Slide them into the oven and cook until the seeds have browned to your liking, about 10 to 20 minutes. (I roasted them for 12 minutes.) Take them out of the oven, let them cool, and eat.
The Spread (approximate measurements–use your best judgment)
- – 2 cups toasted pumpkin seeds
- – about 1/4-cup olive oil
- – juice of 1 large lemon
- – 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- – 16 ounces chickpeas (they taste best if you cook them yourself, but canned works too)
- – 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Put the pumpkin seeds into the bowl of a food processor. Turn on the processor and start to break up the pumpkin seeds. As the processor is running, pour in the olive oil, slowly, until you have a thick paste. (The seeds will still be a bit noticeable, rather than entirely smooth. Turn off the food processor.
After you have formed the paste, squeeze in the lemon juice. Throw in the garlic and the chickpeas. Turn on the processor and whirl it all up until you have the thick consistency of hummus. You might need to add more olive oil, as the processor is running, depending on the texture you like. When you have the consistency you want, sprinkle in the smoked paprika and run the processor until the paprika is fully incorporated. Take the spread out of the food processor and let it sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours to allow the flavors to develop fully. Eat with crackers or vegetables or whatever you want.