Pumpkin seed recipes

Pumpkin seed recipes? Yes! I love eating pumpkin seeds as a nutritious gluten free snack, but you can do so much more with them!

How about roasting them, or extracting their oil to use in salad dressings, or including them in my tasty breakfast bars?

Where can you buy pumpkin seeds?

You should be able to source them at your local grocery store, although you may find that being seasonal, they are not available at some times of the year.

Other suppliers are health food stores or of course they can be found online.

If you have green fingers you could even grown your own pumpkins and save the seeds for your pumpkin seed recipes.

Roasting pumpkin seeds

Spread the seeds on a greased baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and cook in the oven at 160C/325F for about 25 minutes in total. After the first 10 minutes check them and shake to move them around.

Cool, and then store your roasted pumpkin seeds in an airtight container.

Pumpkin seed oil

2.5 kg of pumpkin seeds will make approximately 1 liter of pumpkin seed oil. Commercially, the seeds are roasted and high pressure applied to extract the oil.

At home you could use a pestle and mortar to crush the seeds.

If you require pure oil, you will then need to drain the contents of the mortar through a clean tea strainer or a muslin cloth.

You can use your pumpkin seed oil to make a gluten free salad dressing.

Ingredients for salad dressing

  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon spirit vinegar (ensure it is gluten free)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Place all ingredients in either a bowl or a small jar and whisk or shake.
  2. Serve on a crisp, green salad, with some roasted pumpkin seeds, for a light but tasty dish.

Variations

To ring the changes you could use a gluten free balsamic vinegar or an apple cider vinegar.

Or you might like to add a small amount of Dijon mustard, garlic or herbs to taste.


Benefits of pumpkin seeds

Pumpkins or Winter Squash are believed to have originated in North America, where they are traditionally eaten in the fall and at Thanksgiving.

Pumpkins provide us with lutein, along with both alpha and beta carotene which give them the distinctive red-orange color.

This beta carotene helps generate Vitamin A in our bodies, helping us to have healthy skin, prevent night blindness and also to protect against some cancers and other diseases.

It may also assist in keeping our blood sugar in balance, a very useful bonus if you suffer from both Celiac disease and diabetes.

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, zinc and magnesium. They are also believed to help lower cholesterol.

Often covered in a white husk, the seeds are a popular snack both raw and cooked. It takes some willpower to refuse the offer of roasted pumpkin seeds at Halloween!


- - Pumpkin seed recipes



  

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