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Ingredient Digest: Pumpkin Seeds

What are they? Pumpkin seeds or pepitas are the edible seeds of a pumpkin. White on the outside (or on the hull) and green on the inside. These flat, oval seeds are available year-round, but happen to be a fall favorite.

What’s the nutritional value? Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, iron, potassium and magnesium. Studies show that magnesium helps to calm and expand the muscles helping to reduce such things as asthma, lower high blood pressure, and migraine headaches. In order to obtain the most zinc, eat them unshelled. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of dietary fiber, unsaturated fat and protein. One ounce averages 8g of protein! Pumpkin seeds contain a variety of antioxidants, including several forms of vitamin E, that are hard to find in most foods.

How should I eat them? Roasting pumpkin seeds is a fun and easy fall activity. Scoop the seeds out of the pumpkin and rinse off the pulp. Put the seeds in a small bowl and toss with olive oil and sea salt. Lay out on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and crispy. Spice up this recipe by adding some cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and smoked peprika. Eat by themselves or add to a salad.

We say why just fall? We eat pumpkin seeds year-round in our Pumpkin Fig granola : )

For more pumpkin recipes visit: http://pinterest.com/purelyelizabeth/purely-pumpkin/

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