Whether you're prepping a jack-o'-lantern or making a pumpkin pie from scratch, don't even think about tossing those seeds. Pumpkin seeds are not just delicious when roasted, they're superfoods packed with nutrients and make a filling addition to tons of vegetarian meals. If you don't want to dig around in a pumpkin to find the seeds, also called "pepitas", you can buy them already cleaned and dried in the bulk section of your grocery store.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
The health benefits of pumpkin seeds are numerous. A 1-ounce serving of whole unsalted pumpkin seeds, or about 85 seeds, contains:
- More than 5 grams each of fiber and protein.
- Nearly 1/3 of an adult's daily recommended intake of zinc, a mineral crucial to immune system function.
- Vitamin A and small amounts of other minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.
Compared to other seeds and nuts, pumpkin seeds are relatively low in calories and fat. One serving of these seeds contains just 126 calories and 5.5 grams of fat. In comparison, 1-ounce of unsalted sunflower seeds contains 175 calories and more than 16 grams of fat.
Different Ways to Eat Pumpkin Seeds
As a high-fiber, low-fat snack, you can feel good about eating pumpkin seeds regularly. And that's easy to do, because their mild nuttiness complements both savory and sweet foods. Pair them with other organic foods to keep your diet as healthy as it can be. Here are just a few ideas:
- Roast and season them to eat by the handful.
This will pump up the protein and fiber in your breakfast or snack. Feeling lazy? Try Nature's Path organic oatmeal and granola that already has pumpkin seeds in it: Pumpkin Flax Granola, Pumpkin Spice with Chia Hot Oatmeal, Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Oatmeal).
- Add toasted seeds to a warm, hearty salad.
Roast chunks of pumpkin or butternut squash in the oven along with diced carrots, eggplant and zucchini. Serve the roasted veggies on a bed of lettuce, and top the salad with balsamic dressing and a sprinkling of chopped, toasted pumpkin seeds.
- Use them as a garnish to give soups and stews some crunch.
- Substitute pumpkin seeds for pine nuts in your favorite pesto recipe.
- Serve these seeds for dessert!
Must Try Pumpkin Seed Products & Recipes
- Pumpkin Flax Granola
- Pumpkin Spice with Chia Hot Oatmeal
- Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Oatmeal
- Blueberry Cashew Pumpkin Seed Superfood Bars
- Nuts & Seeds & Sea Salt Superfood Bars
- Homemade Pumpkin Seed Milk
Learn More About Superfoods
- What are Superfoods?
- The Health Benefits of Cacao
- The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
- The Health Benefits of Sprouted Grains
- The Health Benefits of Honey
- The Health Benefits of Coconut