Also referred to as pepitas, pumpkin seeds – like other nuts and seeds – pack a healthy punch.
In addition to being a good source of phosphorous, magnesium and manganese, these chewy little seeds supply zinc, iron, copper, tryptophan and vitamin K. Pumpkin seeds are also a tasty source of protein, with over 8 grams per quarter-cup serving.
One-quarter cup of pumpkin seeds provides 185 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 15 grams of total fat, most of which is mono- and polyunsaturated "good for you" fats.
Further, research suggests that pumpkin seeds have beneficial anti-inflammatory properties and are rich in phytosterols, which have been associated with lower cholesterol and heart-health.
Pumpkin seeds or pepitas are available packaged all year round. But freshly roasted pumpkin seeds are fitting for fall and so much more flavorful.
Makes 1 to 1-1/2 cups
Roasting pumpkin seeds for a short time – as compared to long, slow roasting – will better preserve their healthful benefits. Use this basic recipe as a starting point for your autumn pumpkin seed snacking. The next time you make them, spice them up with cayenne, black pepper, coriander, cumin, cinnamon or even pumpkin pie spice.
Makes about 1 1/4 cup
An autumn variation on traditional pesto, this pumpkin seed recipe makes a tantalizing spread for party toasts or superb sauce to toss with pasta and lightly cooked vegetables. Puree with softened cream cheese to make a dynamite dip or to slather on sandwiches.
The sumptuous flavor of browned butter and crunch of roasted pumpkin seeds are a perfect contrast for the toothsome fettuccini in this hearty dish. Substitute different shapes of pasta for a change – and try the recipe with toasted pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts when you run out of pumpkin seeds.
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