Roasted pumpkin seeds are probably just a snack for you, but what you do not know is that these little seeds are full of nutrients. This is best for those who choose to be fit and live a healthy lifestyle.
Pumpkin is not a vegetable. Yes, technically speaking it is a fruit!1 This orange, pulpy orb comes from a specie of climbing plants. We may sometimes overlook the seeds, but did you know that it is loaded with vitamins and minerals? These white, flat, and oval seeds have a surprising handful of benefits. Nutritionists and dieticians claimed that hull-less pumpkin seeds or pepitas reduce inflammation in those suffering from arthritis2, are good for the prostate3, also it promotes good sleep4, and reduce bad cholesterol5 and blood pressure thus promoting a good heart6. As recommended by the American Heart Association, a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds (30grams) helps support a healthy heart.7 There is also a study that reduces the risk of certain cancers from developing. Including breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, and stomach cancer.8
Before we roast our seeds, let us take a closer look at the vitamin and minerals that have in them. Pepitas are a good source of protein and you can get 19 grams of this micronutrient from 100 grams of seeds.9 Isn’t it amazing? In addition to this, magnesium and calcium10 which is essential in maintaining healthy bones. This is more important in women who are at high risk of developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone condition that weakens bones, frequently it happens in the bone of the hip and spine.11ahe This affects women in their menopausal stage. But momma do not fret, once you regularly consumed enough of these, you do not have to worry.
Fertility problem in men? Pumpkin seeds are high in antioxidants that improve testosterone levels and reproductive functions.12 Zinc is also present in these seeds.13 It helps the immune system to fight viruses and bacteria. High zinc consumption has several benefits for the well-being of our eyes.14 Manganese and vitamin K can also be traced. These are important in wound healing.15 Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of phosphorus which plays a vital role in the formation of bones and teeth.16 Moderate amounts of folate, sodium, potassium, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin can be obtained in these seeds. While in a lesser amount, it contains palmitic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and stearic acid.17 Although pumpkin seeds have a notable part in our health, it is best eaten moderately. It is high in fiber and excessive eating might produce gas and can cause your tummy to bloat. 18
Now that we have uncovered the health benefits of our staple, let us prepare our treat…
1. Remove the seeds.
After cleaning the fruit, using a knife, cut around the top of the pumpkin then pull the stem off. Using a metal spoon scrape off the seeds. Expectedly, some flesh or fibers will come along with the seeds.
2. Wash, drain and dry the seeds thoroughly.
Having a hard time separating the seeds from the fiber? The trick to this is to submerge the pulpy and slimy flesh in water. Remove the seeds from the water, drain them with a sieve and dry them with a paper towel. You can also use a dehydrator at 115° to 120° F for 1 to 2 hours maximum. Through soaking, it neutralizes acids and enzyme inhibitors. While drying the seeds before roasting ensures they are coated evenly with oil for that perfect crispness.
3. Season the seeds with your own choice of spice and herbs.
Usually, it is roasted with salt and melted butter, but they also go perfectly with various herbs and spices. Try different flavors that will flatter your appetites like cinnamon, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, cumin, chili, paprika, olive oil, sugar and honey, and cloves. Some prefer sour cream, garlic parmesan, taco-lime, parmesan rosemary, smokey barbecue, salted caramel, and turmeric. In Mexico, Latin America, and American Southwest they incorporate this into their dishes.
4. Roast the seeds.
Roast the seeds at 180C/gas or about 8 to 10 minutes. Be sure to constantly stir and toss the seeds to promote even browning. Roasting increases the number of antioxidants in the seeds. So, it will be easier to digest. Be careful in roasting, because you may destroy a significant amount of nutritional value in the food.19
And, voila! Your nutty, crispy, savory snack is ready to be served.
Do not forget that aside from being a plain snack, you can incorporate this into your other dishes. Because of its versatility, you can enjoy this by tossing it into your salad, as toppings in muffins, pies, bread, cookies, and cakes! So, the next time you go shopping, be sure to add pumpkin seeds in to your list!