One of the fondest memories for many of us growing up is roasting pumpkin seeds. It’s a wonderful tradition after removing them from the pumpkin you’ve just craved. They’re subtly sweet and nutty. Not only are they a tasty snack, pumpkin seeds are one of the most nutritious and flavorful seeds. My favorite way is to roast them with heart healthy olive oil and season with a little salt. You could spice things up a bit by adding garlic powder, cayenne pepper and or seasoning salt. They taste completely different and so much better than the salty kind sold at convenience stores or gas stations. I love them hot right out of the oven…Yum!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 40-45 minutes
1½ cups pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Garlic powder, cayenne pepper, or seasoning salt, optional
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Clean off the strings and pulp from the seeds of a pumpkin. While it’s okay to leave some strings and pulp on the seeds, clean off as much as possible.
3. Place the cleaned seeds in a bowl and toss with olive oil.
4. Place coated seeds on a baking pan and spread in a single layer. Sprinkle with a little salt and other seasonings, if desired.
5. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown
6. Add more salt, if desired.
Makes 6 servings (¼ cup each)
Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are flat, dark green seeds. Just like cantaloupe, cucumber and squash, pumpkins and pumpkin seeds belong to the gourd family. While pumpkin seeds are featured in the recipes of many cultures, they are a special hallmark of traditional Mexican cuisine. Today the leading commercial producers of pumpkins include the United States, Mexico, India and China.
Pumpkin seeds have recently become more popular as research suggests they have unique nutritional and health benefits. Pumpkin Seeds are packed with protein, fiber, iron, copper, and magnesium. They also contain some calcium, potassium, zinc, folate, and niacin. Although pumpkin seeds contain much fat, 90% of the fat is unsaturated and hence is easily assimilated without becoming a fattening agent. So even though pumpkin seeds are rich in fats, they are unsaturated in nature and hence are good for you. Of course, you’ll want to eat them in moderation. A ¼ cup serving is the perfect amount. It’s similar to eating just a handful of almonds a day.
Not carving a pumpkin this year, so no seeds to roast? Many markets, like trader Joe’s sells roasted pepitas in bags. They’re quite tasty.
Although most people enjoy the roasted seeds for snacks, I also like to add them to salads.
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 6
|SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving (¼ cup)
217 calories, 18g fat, 9g protein, 6g carbs, 1g fiber, 201mg sodium, 0g sugar