Okay, here me out, there are so many cool things in this world that we may have no idea may truly serve dual purposes (or more!). I had no idea that every October as the seasons are changing and the leaves are falling, as I get excited about the cool weather, sweaters, hot cocoa, and pumpkin patch, that the very pumpkins I bring home to carve, I could use for even more than that!
I think we all know you can take the pumpkin seeds from inside, put a little yummy cinnamon and or salt and pepper, roast those babies up, and have a delicious season-themed snack! Though do you realize how jammed packed pumpkin seeds truly are with nutrients? According to Healthline.com “pepita” is a Mexican-Spanish term for pumpkin seeds that contain:
Fiber: 1.7 grams
Carbs: 5 grams
Protein: 7 grams
Fat: 13 grams (6 of which are omega-6s)
Vitamin K: 18% of the RDI
Phosphorus: 33% of the RDI
Manganese: 42% of the RDI
Magnesium: 37% of the RDI
Iron: 23% of the RDI
Zinc: 14% of the RDI
Copper: 19% of the RDI
Along with being high in nutrients, they’re also rich in antioxidants which aid in reducing a lot of harmful diseases our body tries to defend against and deflect such as cancer, improved prostate, and bladder health, lower blood sugar levels, and may even help improve sleep. Webmd.com even claims it may help in hair growth due to the oils that are produced.
Ways to Consume
Overall, adding it to your diet can be extremely easy and low stress, as it can be used as toppings for various meals such as yogurt and granola, pumpkin bread, or just by itself. You may also buy pumpkin seed extracts which can be especially helpful if you are someone who isn’t a fan of seeds or nuts (or if you are allergic). Life extension offers some great options for their seed extract as it is non-GMO and obviously vegetarian as well.
Pbs.org went more in-depth into the origin of pumpkins and where they’re from saying:
“Archaeologists discovered the oldest domesticated pumpkin seeds in the Oaxaca Highlands of Mexico. Pumpkins are believed to have originated in Central America over 7,500 years ago. The first pumpkins held very little resemblance to the sweet, bright orange variety we are familiar with. The original pumpkins were small and hard with a bitter flavor. Rather than using their nutritional and readily available seeds, pre-Columbian natives grew pumpkins for their flesh. They were among the first crops grown for human consumption in North America. Thanks to their solid, thick flesh, pumpkins proved ideal for storing during cold weather and in times of scarcity.
One of the first American pumpkin recipes was included in John Josselyns New-Englands Rarities Discovered, published in the early 1670s. The recipe was for a side dish made from diced ripe pumpkin that had been cooked down in a pot over the course of a day. Once the pumpkin was cooked butter and spices were added, much like the recipes for mashed squash or sweet potatoes we see today. During the 17th century, women challenged themselves in the kitchen by developing unique and tasty new ways to serve pumpkin.Today, the most popular way to prepare pumpkins is undoubtedly pumpkin pie. This trend first began during the 1800s when it became stylish to serve sweetened pumpkin dishes during the holiday meal. The earliest sweet pumpkin recipes were made from pumpkin shells that had been scooped out and filled with a ginger-spiced milk, then roasted by the fire.”
Personally, I love waiting until the fall months to then grab a bunch of pumpkins, and do a full-on pumpkin seed grabbing, cooking, roasting party! This can be such a fun activity to do with your friends or your family. To spend a day at a local farm, participating in hay rides, drinking cider, and eventually picking out the pumpkin for you – you can them come home and establish this wonderful activity to pull out those seeds and create some fun memories as well!
A Happy You is a Healthy You!