Pumpkin seeds – a nutritional powerhouse
Bianca Parau, Lead Paediatric Dietitian at Bupa Cromwell Hospital, explains why pumpkin seeds are so nutritious
Seeds in general are great little boosters. They have various benefits on our health, making a good case for why we should eat more of them.
Pumpkin seeds in particular really do pack a good punch when it comes to their nutritional value. They’re high in fibre and heart healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and are packed full of magnesium, zinc and omega 6. They’re also rich in vitamin E – an antioxidant – so can help protect against disease.
Pumpkin seed snacks
The possibilities are endless when it comes to pumpkin seeds. You’re sure to find a way to tempt all of your family with this nutritious snack. Just add your favourite spice mix while you’re roasting them. Here’s my guide.
- Preheat your oven to 150°C.
- Remove the seeds from the pumpkin. Chances are you’ll have some of the pumpkin flesh sticking to them. You can remove this by adding the seeds to a bowl of warm water. Stir then let them rest for about five minutes. This is where the magic happens – the seeds float while the pumpkin flesh sinks!
- Remove the seeds and dry off on a tea towel.
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or foil and place the pumpkin seeds on top.
- For every cup of pumpkin seeds, pour over a couple of teaspoons of rapeseed oil.
- Next, toss with your choice of spice recipe below.
- Bake for about 20 minutes – stir a couple of times during cooking.
- As soon as the pumpkins seeds are starting to brown they’re ready.
Five spice recipes
Here’s a recipe to suit every member of your family, whether it’s for ‘spicy’ dad or a sweet treat for the kids. The quantities of flavouring are per cup of pumpkin seeds.
1. The breakfast one
To really wake up their senses try our five-spice maple pumpkin seeds.
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- the juice of half an orange
- 1/2 tsp five spice powder
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
For an extra boost, grate over some orange or lemon zest at the end.
2. The spicy one
Mexican-style pumpkin seeds should provide plenty of kick for the spicy member of your clan!
- 1/2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 tsp soya sauce
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
Add a tsp of grated lemon or lime zest after cooking to lift the flavours.
3. The party one
What better for a party than pizza pumpkin seeds?
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp of harissa paste
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
4. The sweet one
Think sweet, think cinnamon sugar pumpkin seeds…
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp of apple juice
5. The love-it-or-hate-it one
You’ve guessed it, marmite pumpkin seeds!
- 1 tbsp marmite
- 1 tbsp boiling water
- grated cheese
Rather than roasting your pumpkin seeds this recipe calls for you to grill them. Mix the marmite and hot water and pour over the seeds. Give them a good stir to coat them well. Scatter over some grated cheese and pop under the grill for about eight minutes, but keep an eye on them!
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