How often have you saved the pumpkin seeds? If seldom, try doing it from now onwards and make roasted pumpkin seeds for a crunchy and healthy snack. It is an easy recipe you can prepare in just minutes. And the best part? You can even involve your kids in the fun project!
You must be having many questions in your mind right now – how to roast pumpkin seeds? Do they have any health benefits?
We have got all the answers for you. Check out one of the best pumpkin seeds recipe.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe
How to roast pumpkin seeds?
You can make a healthy and tasty snack using pumpkin seeds. All you need to do is roast it adding few flavors in it and it’s ready. Before starting the recipe, let’s talk about the composition of these healthy seeds. These are composed of two things – the outer cream color shell and the olive green colored pepita or kernel. Both the parts are edible so you need not do much while roasting the seeds.
Step #1: Remove the seeds
Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, remove the inside pulp, the entangled raw seeds and stringy fibers from the pumpkin. The seeds of both pie pumokins and carving pumpkins are edible. The yield you get is based on the size of the pumpkin. For this recipe of roasted pumpkins, we used a 3-round pie pumpkin.
Step #2: Wash and dry the seeds
Put the seeds in a container and wash it properly to let go of any pulp on it. It’s okay if a little flesh is left. Dry the seeds as much as you can by rubbing gently between a towel. This makes the seeds crisp up during the roasting process. If any moisture is left in the seeds, it will result in a prolonged cooking time as the oven gets steamed up.
Step #3: Season the seeds
Once the seeds are dry, it is time to season it. Toss it well with salt, olive oil, paprika, garlic powder and black pepper. Spread the seeds properly in a greased cookie sheet to make sure it is roasted evenly.
Step #4: Roast the pumpkin seeds
Put in the tray in a moderate heat oven at 350F. It will take around 20-30 minutes to roast completely. Remember, tossing the seeds at regular intervals of 10 minutes to ensure even browning. When you start getting the nutty aroma and see it turning golden brown, take it out from the oven
Your roasted pumpkin seeds are ready to serve!
Tips to roast pumpkin seeds
Preheat the oven to make it a quick snack as you invest time in cutting and removing the seeds from the pumpkin.
You can any seasoning mix from the pumpkin or try different combinations like cumin powder, chili powder or even add sweet taste using maple syrup or cinnamon. If you don’t want to use olive oil, butter, vegetable oil and coconut oil can be used as substitutes.
What are the health benefits of pumpkin seeds?
Though very small in size, pumpkin seeds are loaded with valuable nutrients. Just have a small amount of the seeds and your body will be receiving a substantial amount of magnesium, zinc and healthy fats. It nutritional content helps provide a wide range of health benefits which not everyone is aware of.
Here are the top health benefits of pumpkin seeds explained for you:
1. It is high in Antioxidants
Antioxidants like Vitamin E and carotenoids are found in pumpkin seeds. Antioxidants help reducing inflammation and prevent the body cells from dangerous free radicals. Eating pumpkin seeds can thus protect you from several diseases. It is because of the high level of antioxidants that makes it a healthy food item.
2. Reduces the risk of various kinds of cancer
Consuming food containing pumpkin seeds are known to fight the risks of breast, prostate, stomach, lung and colon cancers.
In a wide observational study, it was inferred that postmenopausal woman consuming pumpkin seeds in any form are at a reduced risk of breast cancer.
In various other studies, the key ingredient in the seeds is lignans that help to treat and preventing breast cancer. In some test-tube studies, experts concluded that pumpkin seeds can control the growth of prostate cancer.
3. Packed with valuable nutrients
The pumpkins you buy at the supermarket are generally shell-free seeds that are flat, green and oval.
1 ounce or 28 grams of shell-free pumpkin contains approximately 151 calories, from protein and fat.
The nutritional content of 1-ounce pumpkin seeds:
- Fiber: 1.7 grams
- Carbs: 5 grams
- Phosphorus: 33% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 37% of the RDI
- Manganese: 42% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 18% of the RDI
- Protein: 7 grams
- Fat: 13 grams (6 of which are omega-6s)
- Iron: 23% of the RDI
- Zinc: 14% of the RDI
- Copper: 19% of the RDI
Not only this, there’s a lot of antioxidants found in pumpkin seeds and a fair amount of vitamin B2, potassium, folate and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
4. Rich in Fiber
Not many know, but pumpkin seeds are rich in dietary fiber. In 1-oz of shelled pumpkin seeds, there is 1.1 grams of fiber and consuming food high in fiber content encourages smooth digestive health. It also reduces the risk of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
5. Improves bladder and prostate health
Pumpkin seeds can relieve the symptoms of BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) – a condition of prostate gland enlargement that causes urination problems.
In a study of 1400 men having BPH, pumpkin seed helped control the symptoms and improved the conditions.
Some other important studies revealed that pumpkin seeds can also support in treatments of an overactive bladder, improving the urinary function.
6. Improves heart health
As a good source of magnesium, antioxidants, fatty acids and zinc, pumpkin seeds can be a great help in keeping the heart-healthy.
In several animal studies, it was proved that consumption of pumpkin seed oil can reduce high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure which are the two main reasons behind heart disease.
Not only this, pumpkin seeds increases the nitric oxide content in our bodies, thus improving the heart health.
Nitric oxide is known for boosting blood flow, expanding blood vessels and minimizing the risk of plaque growth in the arteries.
7. Improves sperm quality
Low zinc levels can reduce sperm quality and be a reason behind infertility in men. As pumpkin seeds are known to have good zinc source, it helps improve the sperm quality.
No. That’s no buff.
From a study in mice, it is inferred that pumpkin seeds can protect the quality of human sperm from being affected by autoimmune diseases and chemotherapy.
With its high level of antioxidants, pumpkin seeds can help to improve the testosterone levels and your overall health. All these factors contribute to boosting fertility and reproductive functions, mainly in men.
8. Lowers blood sugar levels
Studies on animals have concluded that pumpkin seeds, pumpkin, pumpkin juice and pumpkin seed powder, all can lower the blood sugar levels.
It is a boon for diabetic men and woman who struggle controlling their blood sugar levels. The reason behind its positive effects on diabetic people is its high level of magnesium.
However, there is more research to be conducted to confirm the health benefits of pumpkin for people having diabetes.
9. Rich in Magnesium
Pumpkin seeds are considered as one of the amazing natural sources of magnesium. From a study in the United States, it was found that almost 79% of men and women have a low intake of magnesium.
Magnesium is important for over 600 chemical reactions taking place in our bodies, for example:
- Reducing the risk of heart disease
- Controlling blood pressure
- Proper regulation of blood sugar levels
- Maintaining and forming healthy bones
10. Can improve sleep
Do you have trouble sleeping at night? Eating pumpkin seeds before going to sleep can help.
How? Pumpkin seeds consist of tryptophan, a kind of amino acid that boosts sleep. Studies infer that 1 gram of tryptophan can improve sleep.
So, make sure to eat around 200 grams of pumpkin seeds to get the suggested amount of tryptophan.
The high levels of zinc in pumpkin seeds also support for improving sleep as it can convert tryptophan to serotonin that again gets converted into melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Again, it has a high content of magnesium which also promotes sleep. Scientific studies have shown that people consuming magnesium supplements get more sleep than ones with low magnesium intake.
11. Very easy to include in your diet
In case, you want to include pumpkin in your diet, it is a very easy process!
You can eat it as a regular snack – salted, unsalted, raw or roasted. You can also try adding it to your favorite smoothies, fruits or Greek yogurt. Sprinkle into the salads, cereals or soups to include in your regular meals. Some people also try pumpkin seeds with their bread and cakes.
Note: Seeds and nuts consist of phytic acid that can lower the bioavailability of few nutrients you consume. If you want to eat seeds and nuts on a regular basis, sprout or soak them to minimize the phytic acid.
Roasting pumpkin seeds is also a good idea.
In a nutshell…
Pumpkin seeds are nutritious food item loaded with strong antioxidants which helps in regulating different kinds of health issues such as dietary deficiencies and some more.
Consumption of pumpkin seeds can improve your blood sugar levels, sleep quality, heart health and fertility. They can also help reducing the risks of certain cancer types.
You can add this nutritional element in your diet by making some healthy and delicious pumpkin seed recipes.