Farm Week: What’s So Great About…Pumpkin Seeds

Farm Week: What’s So Great About…Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are available all year round, but I tend to think about them and use them more often as pumpkins adorn Thanksgiving table tops and front door stoops. Also known as pepitas, pumpkin seeds have a few of my favorite things: fiber, Omega-3 fats, iron and protein. They are also a good source of magnesium, manganese, iron, copper and zinc. Nuts and seeds have something called phytosterols, which are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance immune system and decrease risk of some cancers. These powerful pepitas are also being studied for potential help as an anti-inflammatory for arthritis pain.

Pumpkin seeds are a great on-the-go snack like almonds or delicious in salads, granola, cookies, and are pretty to top off muffins. Use them whenever and wherever you can.

SEED PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 250.

This year, after you carve up the pumpkin, separate the seeds from the flesh, rinse and pat with a paper towel. Let them dry out overnight on a cookie sheet. The next day toss with some olive oil and, if you wish, a pinch of salt. Roast on the cookie sheet for about an hour. Give them a toss every 15 minutes or so.

You can always find husked pumpkin seeds at the grocery store which toast up fairly quickly.
I coat these in a little bit of tamari (basically salt). Lay them flat on a cookie sheet and toast for 15 minutes at 175. Keep an eye on them, once they puff up, they are ready to go.

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