If you're anything like me, I hate wasting food!
Every part of every plant, vegetable, fruit and even meat, can be used in some nutritious way for us and our Earth.
So, How can we use our thousands of pumpkin seeds we seem to discard every year, after Halloween?
Roasting them in the oven, on a skillet, with flavour or without flavour, not only fills a hungry tummy at snack time, but they are filled with nutritious yumminess, which will serve your body with fibre, minerals and those essential micronutrients needed to give you a boost throughout the day.
How do I roast them to perfection?
See below for the method!
1.Cut the pumpkin and scrape out the seeds.
Before we carve any pumpkin, the lid is always the first to come off. Be sure to save this part and scrape off any seeds attached and pop them in a bowl.
Using a large spoon, carving instrument or whatever you can get your hands on, scrape the inside, freeing the strings and seeds from the pumpkin and pop them all in a bowl. If you're brave enough to get really messy, pop your hands in and grab a few handfuls!
2. Separate the strings from the seeds.
Saving the pumpkin innards is ideal for making pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin risotto and any other dish that requires a particular pumpkin flavour. I absolutely love this vegetable, so I always try to preserve as much of the actual flesh as possible. Who doesn't love an Autumn pumpkin spice scent!
To separate the seeds from the strings, pop it all in a colander and rinse. You will see the seeds coming away from the pumpkin, making them easier to roast.
3. Rinse and Soak for extra flavour.
For an extra salty flavour, pop all the seeds into a bowl of Himilayan salt and water and bring to a gentle simmer for about 10 mins.
2 cups of pumpkin seeds will need about 4 cups of water and about 1 tablespoon of salt depending on your taste preference. Dont be shy, have a taste halfway through (remember to blow them and don't burn your tongue!)
4. Drain and Bake!
Drain the seeds in a colander and leave to rest for 5 mins.
Whilst you're waiting for the seeds to drain, place a baking sheet on a baking tray and pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (fan assisted) or gas mark 6.
Scatter the pre-soaked seeds onto the baking paper and spread them out allowing for an even bake.
Pop them in the oven for approx 5-20 mins until they are a lovely toasty brown colour. You might need to keep checking on them in case they burn.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool!
At this point, the seeds are ready to eat! You can either take out the seed in the middle to eat, or simply eat the whole thing!
Health benefits of munching on pumpkin seeds
They contain Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium which means they love your bones!
Antioxidants found in pumpkin seeds may help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Pumpkin seeds contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids which contribute to a healthy heart and liver.
Pumpkin seeds contain "sterols" which help reduce the "bad" cholesterol.
They contain plenty of fibre!
and they look after pregnant mothers and their babies by providing adequate levels of zinc which contribute to healthy hormones levels.