Pumpkin Seeds: Small in Size; Big in Nutrition and Taste

Pumpkin Seeds: Small in Size; Big in Nutrition

Otherwise known as pepitas, these delicious little bites are good for much more than roasting.

Pumpkins are one of fall’s favorite and most popular fruits providing the main ingredient for some of the season’s favorite treats — pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie and, of course those delicious pumpkin seeds.

All those little seeds left over after the carving fun are chock full of nutritional elements including vitamin E, vitamin K and fiber.

And these little gems pack a punch:

  • Boost your mood: Pumpkin seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which can improve your mood and keep your outlook looking bright.
  • Help your heart: The seeds, shell and all, are rich in plant-based chemicals that have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol.
  • Get your vitamins: Raw pumpkin seeds contain vitamin E and vitamin K, which help your heart stay healthy and help you heal after an injury.
  • Stay regular: Eating the seeds, shell and all, provide a great source of fiber and protein. Each ounce contains almost nine grams of protein.

While roasting is one of the most popular ways to enjoy pumpkin seeds after Halloween, there are several other out-of-the-box recipes featuring these savory morsels that are sure to delight your taste buds — like pumpkin energy bites.

Pumpkin Seeds: Small in Size; Big in Nutrition
Pumpkin seeds pack a nutritional punch and can be used in a variety of ways like these in these delicious energy bites. Image Source: Gimme Some Oven
Pumpkin No Bake Energy Bites
8 ounces (about 1 packed cup) chopped dates
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon chia seeds or flax seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 cup old-fashioned oats (dry, not cooked)
1 cup toasted coconut flakes
1 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Combine the dates, honey, pumpkin puree, chia or flax seeds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt in a food processor and pulse until smooth and combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the oats, coconut flakes and pepitas until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Once the mixture is cool and easier to work with, use a spoon or cookie scoop to shape the dough into balls — 1 inch in diameter works well. Alternately, you can line a small baking pan with parchment paper and press the mixture evenly into the pan, let it cool and then cut into bars. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Storing them in the refrigerator helps the energy bites hold their shape.Source: Gimme Some Oven