Pumpkin Power

An often-overlooked fruit (yes, they are considered to be a fruit) pumpkins really pack a punch when it comes their nutritional value.  They are high in fiber and contain 100% of your daily dose of vitamin A.  They also contain vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, copper.  Thanks to the phytonutrient carotene, pumpkins are also great for vision, help fight heart disease, cancer and the effects of aging. 

One of my favourite ways to eat pumpkin is to add a big heaping tablespoon to oatmeal (along with chopped nuts & seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg and a drizzle of organic maple syrup).  I freeze fresh, pureed pumpkin in an ice cube tray and pop one out the night before so it’s thawed for breakfast the next morning. 

And don’t throw out those pumpkin seeds after carving the Halloween Jack o’Lantern!  The seeds contain tryptophan which is converted to GABA in the brain; a nutrient that relaxes the body, calms nerves and improves sleep.  And who doesn’t need a good night’s sleep?!

To make delicious Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, rinse and lay them out to dry overnight (or minimum 2 hours – they shouldn’t be damp at all or they won’t turn out nice and crunchy).

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tsp melted butter or olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • Additional seasonings: garlic salt, cayenne pepper, fennel seeds, etc. (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Toss the seeds in a bowl and coat them with the butter or olive oil and seasonings
  3. Spread evenly on a baking sheet
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until the seeds are nice and brown. Check every 5 to 10 minutes to ensure they are toasting nicely
  5. Let them cool and then Enjoy!


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