Don’t throw out your Jack O’ Lantern’s brains! Pumpkin seeds are super healthy and so simple and fun to toast up post-carving! Pumpkin seeds, or “pepitas”, are a very good source of magnesium and manganese, and a good source of zinc, various phytochemicals and vitamin E. Lightly toasting them brings out the ﬂavour, and is as easy as a quick rinse & dry, toss & sprinkle and a bake.
Once toasted, pumpkin seeds can be added to salads, sprinkled over oatmeal, used in baked goods like granola bars and mufﬁns, mixed with dried fruit for a healthy no-nuts trail mix, or ground into salad dressings or veggie burgers.
Or, you can just leave them in a bowl on the counter and see how long they last — my test batch was gone by the end of ‘How to Train Your Dragon’!
Simple Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
1.5 cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed and patted dry (about the yield from one large pumpkin)
1 tsp melted coconut oil
pinch of sea salt
Quickest method: Preheat oven to 300F.
Toss the dry seeds with the oil and then spread evenly on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Bake for 35 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Enjoy!
Slower method: Preheat oven to 175F. If you have the time, use this method, as keeping the roasting temperature lower helps to preserve the healthy fats in the seeds. Follow the instructions above but toast for about 1 hour, turning seeds every 20 minutes.
Wendy McCallum, LLB, RHN, is passionate about providing busy parents with the tools & support they need to feed their families wholesome food, so everyone can play, learn, and feel better! She is a mother of two terrific HRM kids, aged 7 &8. For information and recipe ideas, visit her website.