How to cook pumpkin seeds, one of the most nutritious Halloween treats you can eat!

For the next few days millions of Americans will be carving out the family’s Halloween pumpkins. The end result is a delightful, whimsical or spooky jack-o-lantern to place outdoors to greet all the trick-or-treaters as they focus on filling their bags with candy.  But before that happens, the pumpkin has to be cleaned out and gutted.

This is when I encourage you to stop!  Do not throw away those pumpkin seeds!   These slimy little critters can be cooked and eaten, they are truly a delicious Halloween treat.  Not only that, pumpkin seeds are loaded with nutrients and are low in calories, around 100 calories for two tablespoons.

Dr. Oz  focused on this nutritious treat in one of his television segments.   Oz stressed that pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, which will help lower your blood pressure along with reducing your risk of a stroke or heart attack.   He considered pumpkin seeds as a “super food”… and I’m sure that you don’t want to discard any healthy food that can benefit your health, right?

How do you prepare  these seeds?  First, preheat your conventional oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.   Separate the pumpkin seeds from the orange pumpkin “gook” and rinse the seeds thoroughly with cold water.  Drain and pat dry with clean paper towel. Spray a baking sheet  with cooking spray and spread the pumpkin seeds in a single layer.

Sprinkle lightly with salt and place in oven.  Cook for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown, making sure to stir every 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, allow to cool and then enjoy your Halloween treat… it’s that easy!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pae9gtlxeA0]

Pumpkin seeds are not only full of magnesium, but they are also rich in protein along with providing zinc and iron.  And don’t forget that the pumpkin itself is also low in fat and calories, yet rich in disease-fighting nutrients such as:

•    Alpha-carotene
•    Beta-carotene
•    Fiber
•    Vitamins C and E
•    Potassium
•    Magnesium
•    Pantothenic acid

Let me know if you cooked a batch of these amazing pumpkin seeds  and if you found them to be as spook-tacular as I do.  Have fun!

Photo credit: Food Thinkers

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