If you don’t know how to eat pumpkin seeds, you may be missing out on a wealth of nutrients and a versatile snack option!
Pumpkin seeds are the edible seeds of the pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo, or they may come from other types of squash and are a popular snack in many parts of the world. These unhulled seeds are off-white in color and are like a teardrop in shape. Once the hulls are removed, the inner seed is usually thin and green. Although the term “pumpkin seeds” technically refers to either the unhulled or the hulled varieties, the most common variety that you will find in North America and Central America are roasted, unhulled, and salted.
How to Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
If you’ve wondered how to eat pumpkin seeds and incorporate them into your diet, try roasting or grinding them, or using them as a garnish.
- Roasting – The most popular way to eat pumpkin seeds; simply roast the seeds on a cookie sheet in the oven with salts and spices for a popcorn-like snack.
- Pesto – You can mince or cut up your seeds and include them in pesto for a flavorful bite.
- Oatmeal – Along with fresh fruit in the morning, tossing some pumpkin seeds into your oatmeal can make it an even healthier meal.
- Granola – For people who make homemade granola, these seeds are a unique and delicious addition.
- Soup Garnish – You can add roasted pumpkin seeds to the top of pumpkin soup, or any soup, for that matter, as a tasty garnish.
- Salads – Mixing seeds into salads is an excellent way to get more out of your meal; these seeds are particularly good with citrus or fruity flavors in a salad.
- Rice Pudding – Topping your rice pudding with these seeds adds a nice crunch to the popular snack.
- Grinding – You can grind the seeds down to a powder and add them to muffin or bread mixes, both for flavor and as a nutrient-dense supplement to your baked goods.
Reasons to Eat Pumpkin Seeds
There are many reasons why you should eat pumpkin seeds due to their nutritional composition:
- Rich in antioxidants – phytonutrients and phenolic acids, such as coumaric, ferulic, caffeic, and vanillic acids
- Contain various tocopherols (vitamin E)
- High levels of manganese, phosphorous, zinc, copper, potassium, iron, and magnesium
- Rich in vitamin K
- Good source of protein (25% of your daily needs per cup)
- Good source of dietary fiber ( 50% of your daily needs per cup)
How to Store Pumpkin Seeds?
- If you purchase these seeds in bulk or pull them directly from a pumpkin, you will want the seeds to be clean and dry before storing them.
- You will need to clean, rinse, roast or dry the seeds thoroughly, depending on what form you get them in.
- They must be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where they will keep for up to 6 months.
However, the nutrient density and flavor will begin to diminish after 2 months.