We love October and all the goodies the fall harvest brings. Today is National Pumpkin Seed Day! Pumpkin seeds are rich in amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, carotenoids and other nutrients. In traditional Chinese medicine, pumpkin seeds have sweet and neutral properties and are associated with the Large Intestine and Stomach meridians. They are often used to alleviate pain, ease digestion and expel parasites.
Pumpkin seeds are also a fun and tasty treat. To toast pumpkin seeds, you will need a small to medium sized, organic pumpkin. Collect the seeds after you've roasted a squash or carved a pumpkin for your porch. Scoop out the seeds, toss them in a colander and rinse the pulp off until they're clean. Pat dry.
Heat your oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Toss 2 cups pumpkin seeds with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Roast on a baking sheet, stirring every 5 minutes, until the seeds are aromatic, crisp, and browned, about 10 to 15 minutes (they may take a little longer depending on how fresh the seeds are). Remove from the oven, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon seasoned salt, and toss to combine. For a sweet version, toss with coconut or date sugar, cinnamon and/or pumpkin spice. Yum!
Toasted pumpkin seeds are best fresh from the oven but will last up to 5 days stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Enjoy!