Thursday, October 21, 2010

From Jack-O-Lantern to Seeds-O-Health!

Don't throw out that carved masterpiece of pumpkin flesh until you've rescued the seeds!

Toasted pumpkin seeds are easy to make and taste delicious. Besides that they have great health benefits! They not only help with prostate and bladder issues but also help with learning disabilities and depression. They are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and contain phytosterols, a compound found in plants that is believed to reduce cholesterol levels and prevent some cancers.

Toasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe

One medium sized pumpkin
Olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut open the pumpkin and use a strong metal spoon to scoop out the insides. Separate the seeds from the stringy core. Rinse the seeds.
2. In a small saucepan, add the seeds to water, about 2 cups of water to every half cup of seeds. Add a half tablespoon of salt for every cup of water (more if you like your seeds saltier). Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.
3. Spread about a tablespoon of olive oil over the bottom of a roasting pan. Spread the seeds out over the roasting pan, all in one layer. Bake on the top rack until the seeds begin to brown, 10-20 minutes. When browned to your satisfaction, remove from the oven and let the pan cool on a rack. Let the seeds cool all the way down before eating. Either crack to remove the inner seed (a lot of work and in my opinion, unnecessary) or eat whole.

If you would like to avoid the salt and oil or you just don't want to deal with the gross "interior" of the pumpkin you can always find raw pumpkin seeds in our bulk bins. We also carry a new line called Gerbs Pumpkin Seeds for the more adventurous fans of this seed. They offer flavored varieties including milk and dark chocolate clusters as well as roasted red pepper, onion/garlic and lightly salted!

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