During this past weekend and throughout this week, many of us have or will be carving pumpkins – it’s always so much fun for the whole family and makes a great decoration! Pumpkins aren’t only a fun addition to the Halloween season, but they are also tasty and nutritious! Both the seeds and the actual pumpkin can be used to make many delicious foods.
Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin A. Vitamin A helps your eyes and skin stay strong and healthy; as well helps lower the risk of some diseases. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of iron and are rich in protein. In fact, pumpkin seeds make a quick, tasty and healthy snack for your whole family. Try the below recipe with the seeds you remove from your pumpkin, as a child I always loved doing this and I’m sure your children will too!
- Pumpkin seeds, approx 2 cups (cleaned and rinsed)
- Olive Oil
- Desired spices
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add seeds, lower heat and boil gently for 10 minutes. Drain well then transfer to a paper towel-lined tray and pat dry. Transfer seeds to a medium bowl, toss with oil and spread out in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast seeds, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until just crisp and golden brown, about 1 hour total. Set aside to let cool.
**Note: For spicy pumpkin seeds, mix 1/2 teaspoon each garlic salt, cumin, coriander and cardamom with seeds and oil before roasting. For sweet pumpkin seeds, mix 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, cloves and ginger and 1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar with seeds and oil before roasting.
Information sourced from: https://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Cooking-Food-Preparation/Pumpkins.aspx
Recipe adapted from: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/roasted-pumpkin-seeds
Janel Genge is a Registered Dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador