Boost Your Health with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Note: Scroll to the bottom recipe heading if you don't have time to read the nutritional segment.

I'm addicted to chips, especially the spicy, saltier ones. I would have to say that aside from popcorn and chocolate, they are my biggest hurdle to overcome. I don't often have much time to write for myself, since I write for other people, but one of these days, I would love to do a whole investigative research segment about what makes them so addictive. I know they are filled with excitotoxins that trigger the brain to crave, and there's also a whole science behind them that the food industry devotes to, not only a sizeable amount of time, but resources to enhance their flavor so that we stay hooked. 

In order to avoid giving in to the temptation of buying them, I'm constantly looking for ways to find a healthier substitute. I'll eat kosher pickles, or cucumber with lemons, when I want that crunch. Some will sugest air popcorn, but sorry, that's like eating paper with no flavor to me. Add herbs, some may suggest? Meh. That only tastes like paper with herbs, so I tried that. It's not my bag. 

There is one thing I do look forward to around this time that satisfies my craving for crunchy and spicy things, and that's roasting pumpkin seeds. If you throw away your filling when you're carving that Jack-o-lantern, stop! You can actually be boosting your health by roasting the seeds.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the pumpkin seed has a very good source of vital minerals, such as manganese, phosphorous, copper, and magnesium. Pumpkin seeds also contain Vitamin E and carotenoids which help reduce inflammation and protects cells from damage, which may keep you from aging prematurely and reducing chronic disease (Thompson, 2018). As someone who has suffered from inflammation, pumpkin seeds are on my top list of foods I've added to help minimize pain. With all those benefits included, this is something I know I can't get from scarfing down a bag of Hot Flaming Cheetos.

Here's a list of further benefits, according to a Livestrong article, titled Health Benefits of Pepitas:

Helps with bone formation, connective tissue, blood clotting, sex hormone (estrogen and testosterone that affect sexual development or reproduction), metabolism, calcium absorption, blood sugar regulation.

Works with calcium to protect teeth and bones, supports kidney function and energy cell production.

Maintains healthy immune system and repairs damaged tissue

Magnesium (My favorite- see why by clicking here)
Maintains muscle, helps with nerve function, heart rhythm, supports the immune system, and is involved with 300 biochemical reactions

Ensures proper cell function

Manufactures your hemoglobin, responsible for oxygen transport, supports healthy hair, skin and nails

So now that you know that pumpkin seeds are filled with such yummy goodness, roast them in the oven and add your favorite seasoning to it. It can be as simple as Kosher salt or Sea Salt with pepper. Go crazy! And if you, too, suffer from salty chip cravings, try something healthier that will boost your health. Those things are hard to avoid, I know, but the benefits you'll get by substituting it with something that's good for you, will far outweigh the things that are bad in the long run. Below is a recipe for Roasted Lemon Chili Pumpkin Seeds. If you try the recipe, let me know if you enjoyed it. 

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Try any of the olive oils on the list!
Roasted Chili Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds) Recipe
Pumpkin seeds are a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine and are often eaten as a health snack.

1 jack-o-lantern pumpkin (yields about 2- 2 1/2 cups)
1/2-2 tbsp of olive oil (see list to your left)
1/4-1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 lemon

1. Pull the seeds out and rinse them in a strainer until all the pulp is gone
2. Pat the seeds dry on a kitchen towel and pour them into a mixing bowl
3. Add olive oil and sprinkle lemon juice

4. Mix in dry ingredients: salt, chili powder
5. Spread on a cookie sheet, making sure they're not on top each other and bake at 325 
degrees for 25-27 minutes. 

6. At 25 minutes, taste one. If it's crunchy, it's ready. Keep checking them, since they can burn rather quickly. If you feel it's not salty or spicy enough, you can sprinkle more salt and chili powder to your liking as some people have a more sensitive palate and can't tolerate as much chili. 
 I added more chili powder to mine



(2015, Oct 1). Pumpkin: Loaded with Scary good Nutrients. https://

Thompson, Caroline. (2018, July 4). Health Benefits of Pepitas.


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