The pumpkin is no stranger to the spotlight because of stories like Cinderella; Legend of Sleepy Hollow; Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Every year thousands of pumpkins are carved for decorations and made into pies for Thanksgiving dinners.
Pumpkins are great for us because they have no cholesterol and are very low in fat and sodium but rich in vitamins. Due to the bright orange color, pumpkins are loaded with antioxidants, beta-carotene and vitamins. Beta-carotene in pumpkins is known to reduce the risk of certain cancers and contributes to protection against heart disease and some forms of aging.
Pumpkin should be a part of every diet, not only because it is good for our health, but because it tastes good. So, since Halloween is gone and Thanksgiving is approaching, let’s all have some pumpkin - happy pumpkin eating!
Eating roasted pumpkin seeds as a snack is high in fiber and contains a high amount of phosphorus. Try this recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds:
1 quart water
1 Tbsp. salt
2 cups pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil or melted, unsalted butter (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
2. Pick through seeds and remove any cut seeds. Remove as much of the stringy fibers as possible.
3. Bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the seeds and boil for 10 minutes. Drain, spread on kitchen towel or paper towel and pat dry.
4. Place the seeds in a bowl and toss with oil or melted butter.
5. Spread evenly on a large cookie sheet or roasting pan (cover pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup).
6. Place pan in a preheated oven and roast the seeds for 30 to 40 minutes. Stir about every 10 minutes, until crisp and golden brown.
7. Cool the seeds, then eat or pack in air-tight containers or zip closure bags and refrigerate until ready to eat.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture