Also called pepitas, pumpkin seeds are delicious little snacks that I keep on hand at all times. They are great additions to salad for a bit of crunch, delicious in baked goods and desserts, perfect as a garnish for soups, and thrown into granola or oats. Raw or roasted, pumpkin seeds are one of my favorites!
- Pumpkin seeds contain a hefty amount of zinc – most of it concentrated in the husk, or coat. Zinc is found within every tissue in our body and is needed for cell division.
- Pumpkin seeds include types of the antioxidant, Vitamin E, which is essential for healthy cells and radiant skin.
- Pumpkin seeds are anti-microbial and may help prevent infection and illness.
- They are also a good source of manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, and iron.
- Many neuropathic doctors are sure to reach for pumpkin seeds when prescribing foods for those with prostate conditions. High levels of fatty acids along with zinc and phytosterols support prostate health.
Store pumpkin seeds in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where they will last for 6 months. If your seeds seem suspect, do the sniff test. A musty odor notes that the pumpkin seeds have gone rancid – toss!
Have a pumpkin? Harvest your own seeds! Scoop seeds out of pumpkin, clean off any remaining flesh, and let them air dry by leaving them out in a single layer for a few days. Or, roast your pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet sprinkled with sea salt. Roast at 300 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes. Feel free to add in a variety of spices to give your seeds some flavor too – cinnamon, cloves, paprika, cumin, and cayenne are all delicious.