For many people, fall is the absolute greatest time of year. As the leaves are slowly drifting away from their trees, after having changed into thousands of beautiful pigments, the hearts of many are found to be light. Perhaps it is the family atmosphere, or the closeness that fall brings that has this effect. Perhaps it is the heart of gratitude as Thanksgiving is ushered in that brings this change of mood. Or maybe it’s something else. Regardless of what brings about this giddiness in the hearts of many, it happens. And during this time, one of the favorite pastimes of many families is to buy pumpkins for Halloween, decorate them, and carve faces into them of all shapes and sizes.
During the carving process, if the pumpkin was bought fresh, full, and its seeds have not been pulled out, along with all the orange mush that surrounds them, then many like to put the seeds inside of those pumpkins to use. As it turns out, pumpkin seeds can be a wonderful snack if they are prepared properly. As such, the purpose of this article is to teach a person how to properly cook any pumpkin seeds that they obtain from the inside of the pumpkin, and then we will also explain some of the health benefits that can be associated with munching on those seeds.
How Do I Prepare Pumpkin Seeds?
Luckily, there’s no special gizmo or anything that is necessary to get the seeds in eating shape that most families don’t already possess. All you’ll need is a stove and some other basic kitchen utensils. Here are the steps to creating the perfect pumpkin seeds to eat:
- First, we have to do the part that everyone hates. We need to clean off all of the pumpkin seeds. The most effective way to do this is to have the pumpkin that you are going to be using next to a sink, take the seeds out of the pumpkin and pull off anything that is sticking to each of them, and then throw the (now fairly cleaned) seeds into a drainer bowl. After that, run some warm-to-hot water over the seeds just to make sure that any excess stuff gets off of the seeds and that they are clean.
- Next, one will want to take the now-cleaned seeds and pour them into a pot. Put a fair amount of water in the pot (just enough so that, depending on how many seeds you have, there is water to spare and it won’t boil away). Finally, add at least a tablespoon of salt. Some people prefer to have more salt, and some people prefer to have less, so you will be able to learn what your preference is as you make more and more batches. Finally, bring the water up to a boil, and then let the seeds simmer without a top on the pot for ten minutes.
- Once this is done, dry the seeds so that no water is left on them, pour them out onto a pan, and put sea salt all over the seeds on the pan. Then, pour a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil over the seeds. Not much, just a tiny bit will do.
- Finally, bake the seeds in the oven for roughly ten minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the seeds out, shuffle them around the pan, and re-insert for another ten minutes.
- Take the seeds out, let them cool, and EAT!!
There are many health benefits that have been discovered occur when one eats pumpkin seeds over a measurable amount of time. For the purpose of this article, we will list three of the effects that we felt could be the most beneficial to improving one’s health:
- Pumpkin seeds are wonderful for improving prostate health in men. They are extremely high in zinc, and zinc is found most highly in the prostate, where it serves a regulatory function.
- Pumpkin seeds are loaded with good fats, antioxidants, and a whole lot of fiber. As such, they are capable of improving one’s heart and liver health.
- This goes along with the point above, but it really is the most beneficial aspect of the pumpkin seed. Because the seeds are high in fiber, they are wonderful for ensuring that a person is able to stay regular. So, if a person is experiencing severe constipation, perhaps pumpkin seeds would be a good method to try before turning to harsh laxatives.