Halloween is one of my favorite holidays aside from Thanksgiving and New Years. Every year I pick out my costume and get ready for pumpkin carving. This time I saved the seeds inside for a very simple Salt&pepper Pumpkin Seeds recipe. These little seeds are packed with a variety of nutrients in addition to protein and healthy fats. They are particularly rich in zinc and I actual recommend any of my clients who test low in this important mineral increase their consumption of pumpkin seeds and I’ve seen people increase their blood levels through this practice. Many people don’t like taking zinc supplements because of taste changes or stomach upset so getting zinc through food sources can be preferable. Zinc is found in a layer right below the seed husk so go ahead and eat the entire thing to get the most nutrition. Pumpkin seeds are packed with Vitamin E, manganese and phosphorus.
You may have heard that Martha Stewart recently, during her visit to Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen declared that “pumpkin spice-everything is for basic bitches only”. Anthony Bourdain has also declared pumpkin-spice a food trend he’s totally over. But I disagree – though pumpkin spice lattes and other pumpkin spice holiday treats are often too sugary and perhaps played out, pumpkin flavor lives on in my house. This year I’m carving and baking my own sugar pumpkin to use in recipes rather than using canned which is fun. And if you want to make your own pumpkin spice, combine 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice and 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves. I like to freshly grind my nutmeg. Especially if it’s on top of a glass of eggnog. Take that Martha! Don’t feel bad, dear readers, if you enjoy some pumpkin spice now and then.
See my simple Salt&pepper Pumpkin Seeds recipe below or try one of my favorite smoothies: Ginger Pumpkin Breakfast Smoothie or my ever popular Peanut Butter Pumpkin Spice Smoothie. I’ve also got a super simple Pumpkin-Spice Homemade Waffle up on the blog, too. What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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