26 Oct 2007

What to do with the Pumpkin Seeds?

Halloween will be here in a few days and Jack O Lanterns will need to be made. Do not throw the pumpkin seeds away as they are as healthy and nutritious.

Pumpkin seeds contain a very good supply of phosphorous, magnesium and tryptophan with a good supply of vitamin K, iron, copper, zinc and unsaturated fatty acids. They are also a good protein and fiber source.

They contain a plant hormone which is proving to be excellent, if eaten regularly, in the prevention of prostate cancer and the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones, . Pumpkin seeds are also said to reduce cholesterol and have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.

Raw and roasted pumpkin seeds are now available in most health shops and many supermarkets worldwide. It is great at times like Halloween and Thanksgiving when you tend to buy whole pumpkins to use the seeds they contain. Simply remove the seeds from the pumpkin, wipe them off and leave them to dry overnight. You can then choose whether to use them raw or to roast them. Once dry they can also be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a month or two until you require them.

Pumpkin seeds like many other seeds can be scattered on salads, added to muesli, baked in bread or just munched as a snack food. Some recipes online call for pepitas which are hulled green pumpkin seeds.

Have a happy Halloween everyone!

One day I found two pumpkin seeds.
I planted one and pulled the weeds.
It sprouted roots and a big, long vine.
A pumpkin grew; I called it mine.
The pumpkin was quite round and fat.
(I really am quite proud of that.)
But there is something I'll admit
That has me worried just a bit.
I ate the other seed, you see.
Now will it grow inside of me?

Halloween Links
Vegan Halloween : Tricks and Treats
A Vegan Halloween Party (lots of great recipes)
Vegan Halloween Treats (tons of great recipes)
Pumpkin Nutrition and Pumpkin Recipes (my 2006 Halloween entry) where you get free patterns and carving techniques to have the coolest pumpkin on your street.

When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.
~Author Unknown


Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
By Linda Larsen, at

2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup Vegan Marg, melted
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder

Place pumpkin seeds on ungreased cookie sheet. Mix together marg and Tabasco sauce and drizzle over the seeds. Combine spices and sprinkle over the coated seeds. Toss well to coat. Bake at 300F/150C degrees 35-45 minutes until golden brown and crisp, stirring seeds once halfway through baking. Store in airtight container.

Pepita-Sunflower-Sesame Burgers
From the Vegetarian Times
These protein-packed burgers are loaded with the flavor, texture and nutrition of three kinds of seeds.

1/2 tsp salt
Pinch cayenne
1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
2 tbsps olive oil, or more as needed
2 tsp tahini
1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds
1/3 cup pepitas
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3/4 cup cooked lentils
4 scallions (white and light green parts) finely chopped ( 1/4 cup)
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In food processor, combine sunflower seeds, pepitas and sesame seeds and process until coarsely chopped. Add lentils, scallions, parsley, tahini, salt, cayenne and bread crumbs; process until mixture is blended. Shape mixture into 4 patties and place on platter. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook burgers until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. 4 servings.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto
From WNPT Volunteer Gardener

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup fresh parsley
8 garlic cloves, peeled
5 tbsps fresh lemon juice
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
6 tbsps broth/stock

Over low heat, dry-roast pumpkin seeds, stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until they finish popping. Remove from heat and cool. In a blender, process seeds, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, pepper and salt. Slowly add oil and broth and blend until smooth. Toss into hot pasta and serve immediately or transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until needed. Yield: 1-1/2 cups.

Zesty Mexican Soup
From The World's Healthiest Foods

This spicy vegetable soup is full of flavor, and easy to prepare. Using our Healthy Sauté method of cooking makes this recipe healthier without heated oils or compromising taste. It is a great way to get many vegetables into one meal and will keep for a few days. It actually gets better with time, so feel free to make a big batch to have around. It is a perfect quick meal on a cold day.

1 medium onion minced
4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsps red chili powder
3 cups + 1 tbsp vegetable broth
1 small to medium green bell pepper diced, 1/4 inch pieces
1 small zucchini diced, 1/4 inch pieces
1 cup finely chopped collard greens
1 15oz/425gms can diced tomatoes
1 15oz/425gms can rinsed black beans
1 cup frozen yellow corn
1 4oz/100gms can diced green chili
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
1/4 cup chopped pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1 TBS broth in a medium soup pot. Healthy Sauté onion, garlic, and green peppers in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add red chili powder, mix in well and add broth, zucchini, collard greens and tomatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes and add beans, corn, green chili, oregano, and cumin. Bring to a boil on high heat. Once it begins to boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes longer. (Simmering uncovered enhances the flavor) Add chopped cilantro, pumpkin seeds, salt and pepper. Serves 6

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Veggie Cookster said...

Great ideas... thanks for sharing! :)

dreamy said...

Happy halloween jackie :) I don't really fancy pumpkin seeds but yea they are really good for health! I take it for it's zinc content :)

Wally Banners said...

you have a safe one too. you got my BOB Vote! :)

Marion said...

I sprinkle pumpkin seeds on salads...they are great for anti-inflammatory properties, as you said.

Happy Halloween, Jackie...and thank you for the great recipes!

Johanna3 said...

i always enjoy your post, they are so good!

CyberCelt said...

This would be an excellent post for the Blog Village Carnival that is posted. You can still get in. Just email it to me.

Jackie said...

It was written for the Carnival cybercelt and submitted before first deadline, plus banners were up until submissions closed.

urban vegan said...

Great recipes and factoids, as always. Pumpkin seeds are also important for male sexual eat your pumpkin seeds, guys!

CyberCelt said...

Thanks for sending the email to me, Jackie. Your post is now active. In first place! I cannot answer as to what happened. I did not receive your entry, that is why I came looking for it.

MsDemmie said...

Happy Halloween and thank you for the great ideas.

Sheila said...

Happy Halloween. This is a great snack idea that isn't hard to make and I think kids will like too.

The Little Vegan said...

I LOVE pumpkin seeds! That pesto sounds absolutely amazing-- a perfect fall recipe.

Sandy Carlson said...

I didn't know they had so much to offer! Thanks for this info and the recipes.

Janey Loree said...

The Spicy Pumpkin Seeds will be a great gift to send to my sons in Texas! Great post as usual, filled with lots of information!! I am visiting via the BLOG VILLAGE Fall Fest Carnival!!!

Remember to vote and rate CyberCelt over in BLOG VILLAGE! Jackie, you probably already have.

Cecile said...

Thanks! I am just about to carve some pumpkins and now I know how to use the seeds!

Dirty Butter said...

I don't know why your submission didn't show up to begin with, but I checked through all my emails from Blog Carnival, and it wasn't there. Glad it is included, though, as this is a wonderful collection of information about pumpkin seeds.

Visiting from the BLOG VILLAGE Fall Fest Carnival.

bazu said...

Happy Halloween to you, too!!

I tried pumpkin seed pesto last year and *loved* it. I'd recommend it for everyone to try.

aTxVegn said...

I LOVE pepita pesto! I'll have to try that recipe and the soup recipe. Thanks!

laura jesser said...

I love Halloween; it's so fun. But it's kind of crept up on me this year, unfortunately. I'll have to go out and buy a pumpkin to celebrate!

The recipe for pumpkin seed pesto sounds great--I don't think I would have ever thought of that!

Sharon Lynne said...

Oh my! Tonight is Halloween, and my pumpkin seeds are sitting in the trash can.

I'm off to retrieve them!

Kate said...

Happy Halloween. I love the pumpkin seed recipes, and the poem.

Mark Xander said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Jackie.

Just like you, I was a bit worried for Karen because it took a while for her to blog again but I'm glad to hear that she and Mattie are safe. I just hope she updates us all soon.

I really love your recipes. And I just added you to my links, if you don't mind. :)

Greetings from the Philippines to South Africa!

Janey Loree said...

The Authors go GONZO! Carnival
is LIVE! See you there and spread the news!!

VeggieGirl said...

I never thought to use pumpkin seeds in all these different types of recipes/dishes!!! wonderful post, Jackie!! :0)

Gaia said...

I adore pumpkin seeds and so does our cat friend, who's name funnily is Pumpkin. We didn't know this about him when we named him... he comes running as soon as he hears the seeds rattling in their container and will hit us with his paw until we give him some... LOL

Dirty Butter said...

Mystery solved on why this great post didn't show up to begin with on the Carnival data. It somehow ended up being sent to the Money one that has been postponed. So, I'm glad it ended up in the Carnival, in spite of me!!

alohanema said...


You have a simple blog but it is beautiful and have wonderful content, PR is 4. That's so great!
May you and I have an link exchange so that both you and I will benefit from this. Let's have a look at my blog:

Thanks and regards,

Marshamlow said...

Thanks for submitting this to the carnival.