Pumpkin Seed – Superfood

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It’s pumpkin carving time! So what do you do with all those creamy white pumpkin seeds? Don’t throw them out. Instead, start incorporating them into your meals. Here are some reasons why.

1. Mineral superstar: One cup of pumpkin seeds provides 16% of the recommended daily amount of manganese, 42% of magnesium, 44% of zinc, and 12% of iron. Reserach indicates that all these nutrients may help you sidestep Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, immune dysfunction, and osteoporosis.

2. Protein power: Protein is a part of every cell in the body, and pumpkin seeds are one of the plant world’s best sources of this essential macronutrient. One ounce of these super seeds contain more protein than an ounce of beef or a cup of milk! What’s more, a preliminary animal study suggests that the protein in pumpkin seeds potentially holds unique liver-protective properties. 

3. Antioxidant protection: In addition to antioxidants such as vitamin E and zinc, pumpkin seeds are also rich in carotenoids, polyphenols, and plant sterols. Research has shown that these may have anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and heart-protective properties.

Whether raw or baked, pumpkin seeds can add lots of flavor and texture to meals, as well as making a nutritious snack all on their own.

Here are some ideas:

· Incorporate them into your cookie, muffin, quick bread, and granola recipes.

· Serve them on top of your morning yogurt or “hot cereal” bowl.

· Grind them finely and add to stews, soups, and pasta dishes, or use them to create a crispy coating for tofu, fish fillets, and more.

Roasted pumpkin seeds are one of my favourite snacks this time of year and they are so easy to make. Here is what I do:

Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and wipe them dry with a paper towel to remove any excess pulp that may have clung to them.Spread them out evenly in a single layer on a dry baking sheet and let them dry out overnight.

When ready to roast, simply pop them into a preheated 200 F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

 

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October 2013
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