Why We Love Pumpkin Seeds
With the crisp chill of fall in the air and the excitement of Halloween around the corner, pumpkin season is in full swing. When you’re carving those pumpkins or making a fresh pumpkin soup, don’t forget about the hidden treasure inside—the seeds.
Pumpkin seeds can add a rich flavor and crunchy texture to many dishes. The seeds have a white fibrous hull (outside shell) with medium-dark green seeds inside; the green interiors are also called pepitas and are commonly used in Mexican cooking. If you’re scooping the seeds out of your jack o' lantern, give them a dip in boiling water or toast them—both the hull and the seed are edible though I prefer my pumpkin seeds without the outer hull. You can also buy them at the store either roasted or raw, with or without the hull, and salted or unsalted.
One ounce of whole roasted pumpkin seeds (about 85 pieces) has 126 calories, 5 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein. They are also a good source of magnesium and zinc, providing 19% of your daily dose of both these minerals. Copper, potassium, and iron are other nutrients you’ll find in pepitas.
Whether you choose to scoop your own out of the pumpkin flesh or purchase them at a store, here are 5 way to enjoy them:
- Roast your own.
- Create a crunchy topping for your pancakes.
- Sprinkle pumpkin seeds onto a salad or warm bowl of butternut squash or pumpkin soup.
- Make your own trail mix with pumpkin seeds and dried cherries.
- Top pumpkin muffins with a small handful.