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Southern African Food Blog

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Cooking With Pumpkin Seeds

Raw Pumpkin Seeds

Growing up I remember watching my relatives taking all the seeds from each pumpkin and drying them on the roof.  They would then be consumed once they were dry….if one dared to ask why that was done the answer would be ~”they are good for your health and that our grand parents have been doing it for years….”

I respect all cooking traditions that have been used by those before us and in doing so I try to incorporate them in my daily cooking habits.  Our grandparents lived long lives and were healthy, there must be something they did right whether it was in their eating habits or in the way they lived.  As a youth, snacking on pumpkin seeds in not something that usually crosses my mind.  Of course you get them in your retail mueslis…but how often does one buy a muesli packet with pumpkin seeds in them?

Roasted pumpkin seeds are usually added to soups, stews or eaten as a snack.  My aunt prefers the latter.  However, raw pumpkin seeds are said to be more nutritious than when roasted.

You might find some of these nutritional health benefits interesting…..

  • Pumpkin seeds are full of proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals (magnesium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, iron, copper etc) and enzymes.
  • Pumpkin seeds are beneficial in the treatment of tapeworms and other parasites.
  • They are high in zinc and therefore are a natural protector against osteoporosis.
  • Pumpkin seeds contain a significant amount of L-tryptophan, which is beneficial in battling depression.
  • Some studies have shown that pumpkin seeds prevent hardening of the arteries and help regulate cholesterol levels.

It’s interesting to know that pumpkin seeds have all these benefits isn’t it?  There are so many health benefits I can go on and on.  Lately, I’m finding myself using a lot of roasted pumpkin seeds in my cooking and I love the nutty flavour they add to my dishes……

Do you ever snack on pumpkin seeds or have you added them to your dishes?

 

Author Info

Thuli

Comments ( 2 )

  • Frances

    I love pumpkin seeds and for the first time ever decided to remove them from a pumpkin I was cutting up to dry them in the oven as my gran always did. I must have overdone them a bit because they were “popping” all over in the oven as they roasted. It was satisfying eating this nutritious snack which cost me nothing. My husband baked bread on Sunday and I made homemade ice cream from scratch while my daughter baked banana muffins. These activities kept us occupied and gave a sense of satisfaction as well as being free “entertainment”. We’ve decided to have a bread “bake-off” every 2 weeks to see who of us can come up with the best and most tasty bread.

    • Hi Frances,

      Thanks for your comment! I roast them at 200 deg C for 15 minutes. That way they won’t pop. Take them out of the oven and let them cool down a bit. If you feel like it you can grind them or crush them with a rolling pin like I did. Then add them to your cooking…..just a spoon or two. You’ll love the flavour that comes through. The bread bake-off is a great idea! Feel free to share some recipes or photos from the bake-off! Have fun!

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