Crunchy, chewy, nutty (even though they are seeds) and slightly sweet if they are fresh; pumpkin seeds are packed full of goodness.

morepumpkinseedsPumpkin seeds, also called a pepita, are a delicious addition to your palate’s repertoire. They are versatile and can be easily added to any number of dishes, both sweet and savory to enhance flavor and nutritional value. I love to toast them and toss them in yogurt, on sautéed greens, or even pop them in sweet treats and baked goods. Pumpkin seeds come from the inside of a pumpkin or other closely related squash. They can be toasted in the shell and eaten with shell in tact, which actually increases their zinc content. Or they can be shelled and eaten just as the inner seed. Either way, they are delicious and nutritious.

From a health perspective, the pumpkin seed is a powerhouse of nutrient density. It is an awesome resource for magnesium, copper, zinc, and iron. They are also full of antioxidants two of which are unique to the pumpkin seed and are effective in reducing the potential for prostate cancer. The simple little pumpkin seed is also antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal, with exciting new research demonstrating the impact of its antimicrobial effects on the enhancing immune response.  The phytonutrients in the pumpkin seed also decrease oxidative stress and systemic inflammation while improving insulin regulation for individuals with insulin resistance syndrome and diabetes.

They are also very low on the allergen list with minimal oxalates and other things that can make seeds a sensitive issue. All of that adds up to a yummy and nutritious snack option and palate pleasing culinary treat.