Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are the edible seeds of a pumpkin or other types of squash. They are commonly consumed roasted as a snack or used as an ingredient in various recipes. Here is All you need to know about Pumpkin seeds.
What are pumpkin seeds?
A pumpkin seed is the edible seed of a pumpkin. The seeds are typically flat and asymmetrically oval, have a white outer husk, and are light green in colour after the husk is removed. Some pumpkin seeds are huskless and are grown solely for their edible seed.
Nutrition content of pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a good source of nutrients, including protein, healthy fats, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They are particularly high in magnesium, zinc, and iron. One ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds contains about 151 calories, 7 grams of protein, 13 grams of fat, and 1.7 grams of fibre.
What are the health benefits of eating pumpkin seeds?
Eating pumpkin seeds may offer various health benefits, including the following;
Heart health: The high magnesium content of pumpkin seeds may help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Prostate health: Pumpkin seeds contain compounds that may help reduce the risk of prostate enlargement and prostate cancer.
Sleep: The tryptophan in pumpkin seeds may promote better sleep and help regulate the sleep-wake cycle
Digestive health: The fibre in pumpkin seeds may promote regular bowel movements and improve overall digestive health
Immune system: The zinc and other nutrients in pumpkin seeds may help support a healthy immune system.
How to use pumpkin seeds in your kitchen
Pumpkin seeds are a versatile ingredient and can be used in various recipes, including;
- Snacks: Roasted pumpkin seeds make a tasty and nutritious snack
- Baking: Pumpkin seeds can be added to bread, muffins, and other baked goods
- Salads: Toasted pumpkin seeds can add a crunch to salads
- Soups: Pumpkin seeds can be used to thicken and add flavour to the soup
- Sauces: Ground pumpkin seeds can be used as a base for sauces and dips
How to Store Pumpkin Seeds?
Pumpkin seeds should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. They can also be refrigerated or frozen to extend their shelf life.
Pumpkin recipes you may wish to try out
Preparing pumpkin seeds is simple if you have a pumpkin on hand. After you slice off the top, use a spoon to remove the seeds and flesh. Then place the seeds in a colander and rinse them under cold water, gently removing any flesh from the seeds with your hands. Finally, pat them dry with a paper towel.
Roasted pumpkin seeds Recipe
Cooking pumpkin seeds is a simple process that can be done in a few steps. Here’s a basic recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or melted butter
- Salt or other seasonings
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C)
- Rinse the pumpkin seeds in a colander and remove any bits of pumpkin flesh or stringy bits
- Spread the seeds out on a baking sheet and let them air dry for a few hours, or overnight
- Toss the pumpkin seeds with the olive oil or melted butter, and sprinkle with salt or other seasonings if desired
- Roast the pumpkin seeds in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and crispy
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the pumpkin seeds cool before serving
You can also try adding different seasonings to your pumpkin seeds, such as garlic powder, cumin, paprika, or chilli powder. You can also experiment with different oils, such as coconut oil or sesame oil, for a different flavour.
Boiled pumpkin seeds recipe
- Rinse the pumpkin seeds in a colander and remove any bits of pumpkin flesh or stringy bits.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the pumpkin seeds to the boiling water and let them cook for about 5-10 minutes
- Drain the pumpkin seeds and spread them out on a baking sheet to dry
- Toss the pumpkin seeds with olive oil or melted butter, and season as desired
- Roast the pumpkin seeds in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and crispy
- Let the pumpkin seeds cool before serving