The Great Pumpkin (Seed)

Halloween is one of the most underrated holidays out there. It has it all- fall weather, parties, scary movies, haunted houses, candy. Oh and I forgot one thing… pumpkin! Whether you carve your pumpkins or keep them intact as porch decorations (what are you, a monster?), don’t let those seeds go to waste.

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Pumpkin seeds may have more uses than you realize. They can be baked in the oven, used to top salads, or used in homemade granola with nuts and dried fruit. You can even make your own pumpkin seed butter by blending raw pumpkin seeds in a food processor!

In addition to tasting great, pumpkin seeds have some amazing health benefits! Pumpkin seeds are a good source of fiber with 5 grams in a single one ounce serving. Fiber helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, decrease the risk of heart disease, and promote good digestive health. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of antioxidants, magnesium, zinc and fatty acids which help keep the heart healthy by lowering bad cholesterol and high blood pressure and decreasing risk for thrombosis, atherosclerosis, and arrhythmias.

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You can choose many different options for how to prepare your pumpkin seeds, but my favorite is simply baking them with olive oil. If you want to spice things up a little (pun intended), here are a few other ways you can season your seeds.

The steps are really simple, so let’s get started:

  1. After removing the seeds from your pumpkin, rinse them to remove the pulp and strings.
  2. Spread the seeds out on a baking sheet and drizzle a small amount of olive oil over seeds.
  3. Bake at 325°F for about 30 minutes or until lightly toasted.
  4. Stir occasionally during cooking to cook thoroughly and prevent burning.

 

Let me know below about your your favorite pumpkin/seed recipe! When I was little, we would bowl our old pumpkins down our back yard to see who could make theirs roll the furthest- not to brag, but I am the reigning “Pumpkin Bowling” champion…

Fall isn’t over yet- click here for 5 great activities to keep moving this season!

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About Ryan Barnes, BSN, RN, PCCN

Cardiac Surgery RN from Baltimore, DNP student, and Army nurse.

1 Response

  1. […] Find a local farm or orchard that offers pumpkin picking and make a day out of it. This can be a fun family outing or a great date idea! You’ll have way more of a selection than the bin at your grocery store and you can burn around 270 calories per hour in the process. Make it even more fun by seeing who can find the ugliest pumpkin. Once you’re home, get creative and carve up your pumpkin. Don’t forget to put those seeds to good use! […]

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