When Carving Your Jack-O-Lanterns, Don’t Toss Out Your Pumpkin Seeds!!

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Carving pumpkins is a fun tradition in our house, but watching my kids save every single pumpkin seed for me is priceless!

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If you’re like me, pumpkin seeds are one of your FAVORITE fall foods. Actually I buy them YEAR ROUND….raw and roast them as a delicious snack. They have been my all time favorite for over ten years now!

But did you realize just how healthy they are? I never knew until I started researching about them years ago. Just one little ounce of contains over 9 grams of protein! That’s more than two grams of protein than the same amount of ground beef. But wait, there’s even more…..

Pumpkin Seed Nutrients and What They Do For You Specifically:

Tryptophan (amino acid, protein building block): Helps fight depression by converting into serotonin and niacin, which then converts to melatonin. All of these create amazing sleep.

Glutamate (needed to create GABA): Anti-stress neurochemical. It helps to relieve anxiety and has a natural calming effect.

Zinc: Boosts immune function while fighting osteoporosis and boosting prostate health, a healthy sense of smell and taste, your mood and good sleep, male sexual function and insulin regulation.

Phytosterols: Reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and up HDL (the good kind), cancer fighting.

Plant based omega-3 fats ALA: A much needed nutrient in our diet!

Healthy Fats and fiber: Beneficial for heart and liver health.

Magnesium: Creates ATP (energy), the pumping of the heart, the synthesis of DNA and RNA, relaxation of your blood vessels, healthy tooth and bone formation, as well as bowel function.

Not only all of that, but pumpkin seeds and their oils have also been shown to have antimicrobial and especially antiviral properties. They help fight diabetes and even certain cancers. They are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals as well.

These yummy pumpkin seeds are also full of manganese, phosphorous, copper, vitamin K, vitamin E, B vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), folates, potassium, calcium, iron, and selenium just for starters.

My recipe if they have just out of the pumpkin….is to rinse them well in a colander and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

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Spread them out evenly on a cookie sheet (line it with parchment paper which makes it the easiest – avoid TEFLON!!). Salt lightly with sea salt (or maybe other seasonings you enjoy). Roast for about 30 minutes to an hour careful not to let them burn, checking them regularly, flipping them over, turning them down to 300 degrees if you want to cook them slower. They should get to a light golden brown color and start making a “popping” noise.

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They are amazing to snack on while watching a movie. Enjoy! You will love every single one!

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