10 May 2006

Seeds - Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are a healthy, nutritious snack food. They are enjoyed both raw and roasted.

The seeds can been bought or you can remove them yourself from pumpkins, wipe off and dry overnight. They should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If purchased, check that they are fresh, unshriveled and with no insect damage.

Nutritionally they contain magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, iron, copper, protein, zinc, protein , Vit B and unsaturated fatty acids. It is recommended that vegetarians and vegans eat at least a tablespoon of raw, unsalted nuts per day and this can include any of the various types of nuts available.

Pumpkin seeds contain a plant hormone which is proving to prevent premature deterioration of the prostate gland. In parts of Russia where pumpkin seeds are eaten daily, disorders of the prostate gland are very rare. If eaten daily they have also been found to prevent the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones, support the immune system and to reduce cholesterol.

Apart from eating them on their own they can be ground and added to cereals, bread mixes, scattered whole or ground in salads or added to veggie burgers.

Try this wonderful salad from "Healthy Eating for Life for Woman" by Kris Kieswer.

Three Sisters Salad
Makes about 8 cups

Native Americans referred to squash, corn and beans as the “three sisters” because they grow well together and their flavors and textures complement each other nicely in cooking.

2 cups butternut or kabocha squash, julienne or cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup jicama, julienne or cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 15-ounce can corn, drained
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup red onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1 teaspoon each: cumin, coriander, chili powder
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced

Combine squash, jicama, bell pepper, corn, beans, onion, cilantro and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Mix vinegar, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, chili powder and garlic. Pour over salad and toss to mix.

Per 1/2-cup serving: 85 calories; 4 g protein; 18 g carbohydrate; 0.7g fat; 5 g fiber; 221 mg sodium; calories from protein: 17%; calories from carbohydrates: 77%; calories from fats: 6%



Kevin Leary said...

You know, I can never seem to get enough manganese in my diet... thanks....

Jackie said...

Good sources of manganese are black walnuts, other raw nuts/seeds, pineapple, blueberries, avocado, cantaloupes, spinach and the bran/germ of wholegrains.