Monday, October 28, 2013

Perfectly Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I was so excited to buy my first pumpkin of the season. There are a million and one things you can do with pumpkins - carve jack o' lanterns, decorate/paint them, bake a pie (Yes...I'm still a child). Oh! The many, many things you can cook with pumpkins! Let's not focus on the big picture here, but, rather the tiny seedlings that come packed inside one plump pumpkin.

 One-quarter cup serving of pumpkin seeds comes packed with powerful minerals - magnesium and zinc. This punch of magnesium plays an important role in bone health and synthesis of DNA; meanwhile, zinc promotes immune health and awakens your senses to smell, taste, and touch all the beautiful things fall has to offer! Today, pumpkin seed oil is commonly seen as a popular treatment method for prostate enlargement. Researchers are continuing to analyze this association, but previous studies advise men to dig in! Foods high in zinc and magnesium have been shown to aid in prostate health.

Cut back to the beautiful scents and tastes of fall. The toasted smell of pumpkin seeds roasting in the oven may be one of the best scents to fill your house. Take one bite and you're immediately in heaven. Even though this is all fun and games, roasting pumpkin seeds comes down to a science. If you leave them in a minute too long, they may burn; and if you leave them in a minute too short, they won't have that crunch. So, my advice to you is keep a careful eye on these seedlings while they're in the oven for the perfect pumpkin flavors.

How to Roast the Perfect Pumpkin Seeds:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degress.

2. When carving your pumpkin, separate the seeds from the flesh. Using a colander, rinse the seeds well, removing any excess strings.

3. Place seeds on a layer of paper towels. Press down on the seeds, removing any water that remains.

4. Spread seeds out onto a baking sheet. Drizzle on a tablespoon of olive oil and shake on some salt and pepper.

5. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir every 5-8 minutes. Bake for another 5 minutes for a little extra crunch and toasted flavor. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon or spice of your choice!

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