‘Tis the season for everything pumpkin. This brilliant orange member of the squash family is more than purely ornamental or recreational. The next time you’re elbow deep in guts, remember the best part for your belly comes from the belly of the pumpkin. Making use of the seeds after carving not only eliminates waste, but offers some pretty great health benefits as well.
- Pumpkin seeds contain half the recommended daily amount of magnesium.
- Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc, which plays a role in boosting immunity, sleep, and your mood.
- Like other nuts and seeds, pumpkin seeds are rich in heart–healthy fats such as omega 3s and help keep glucose levels constant. Pumpkin seeds also contain tryptophan, a precursor to melatonin, which may aid in restful sleep.
In the end we know carving the award-winning jack-o-lantern is a lot of work, so knowing what to do with the pumpkin seeds afterward shouldn’t have to be. Simply remove all the pulp from the seeds by working them through your fingers, then rinse them to remove the remaining flesh. Soak pumpkin seeds in a saltwater bath (1/4 cup salt to 2 cups water) for 6-48 hours. Lay flat to dry. Then choose one of suggestions below for a pumpkin-seed-themed recipe, or come up with one of your own!
Stumped about what to carve? Try one of these Fitness-Inspired Pumpkin Carving Templates.