Pumpkin seeds are an under-enjoyed snack. They’re nutty, crunchy and delicious. They’re chewy and filling. And best of all, they’re super healthy.
An ounce of seeds has 5g of dietary fiber and 5g of protein. It is the most alkaline-forming seed we know, which helps the body detoxify and maintain health. The fiber and minerals in pumpkin seeds help regulate blood sugar. They are high in phosphorus, copper, magnesium, zinc and iron. A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains nearly our entire daily requirement of manganese, a mineral that is critical in bone production.
The diverse antioxidants in pumpkin seeds protect the body from free-radical damage. The L-tryptophan in pumpkin seeds has also been shown to improve sleep quality and lower depression. Here are a few ways to add pumpkin seeds to your diet:
Whole: Sprinkle roasted seeds onto salads or mixed vegetables. For a sweet treat, sprinkle pumpkin seeds into oatmeal, granola and smoothies.
Milk: Pumpkin seeds made a thick and decadent milk substitute with lots of nutrition. Soak 1 cup of seeds for at least an hour. Then blend the seeds with 4 cups of water, 4 dates, 1 teaspoon coconut oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Try it poured over granola, in a smoothie or with hot cereal.
Oil: While it is not as healthy as other available oils, pumpkin seed oil’s bright color is an attractive addition to salads. Top with poached pears, salt, pepper, crumbled pecans, Parmesan shavings and pumpkin seeds and voila! You have a healthy salad after your evening meal.