Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving everyone. For those who celebrated, I hope you were able to spend your weekend with family and friends in the best way possible, while thinking about what you are thankful for. Personally, I couldn’t help but think about the last year and the incredible journey I have been on while educating myself in holistic nutrition and establishing a new career as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist! I truly do not think I could have gotten through the year without the unconditional support of my loving partner, family, best friends and colleagues at school. Our graduation ceremony is in two weeks – yay we did it!
This weekend, I roasted my very first pumpkin to make a healthy, vegan dessert (to be posted later this week) for my family’s Thanksgiving feast, and I must say it was not only easy, but really satisfying to have been able to do this from scratch. For those who have never roasted their own pumpkin, I strongly encourage it! I used my own intuition but also instructions from Elana’s Pantry. The best part about roasting your own pumpkins is that you use every bit of pumpkin you could with the exception of the skin.
Since it is also the time of year when you may be carving some pumpkins, it is not unusual to be left with a goopy, seedy mess. Some people throw it away, but I saved mine, separated the goo from the seeds, cleaned and lightly roasted the seeds to enjoy as a healthy snack later on. Making your own roasted pumpkin seeds is really such a fabulous alternative to the buying them in store as they are often rancid, and loaded with sodium. So I thought I’d share a recipe on how to do it yourself!
The pumpkin seed is your new favourite seed…
Pumpkin seeds are extremely healthful. They are high in zinc ( 1/4 cup provides you with about 17% of your daily needs!) which is an important mineral necessary for a strong immune system. As the cold weather approaches, so does cold and flu season, incorporating pumpkin seeds in your diet is an excellent way to help give your immune system that extra boost it may need for the upcoming winter.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Roasting the seeds at 170F for no more than 20 minutes ensures that the fat content of the seeds is not messed with, in addition to ensuring the vitality of the minerals. If we were to do this at a higher temp- we would be destroying much of the goodness that exists within the seeds, denaturing the proteins and mineral complexes. Just as I do with my kale chips , we are simply dehydrating these seeds.
Goop & Seeds of a pumpkin (preferably organic)
Celtic Sea Salt to taste
- Pre-heat your oven to 170F (or as low as it can possibly go)
- Separate the seeds from the goop as much as possible
- Place the seeds in a sieve and rinse with cool water
- Dry the wet seeds in a clean dish cloth or paper towel
- Place seeds on a baking sheet in one layer
- Sprinkle sea salt to your liking
- Place the baking sheet in your oven for 15 – 20 minutes.
- After that time, remove the sheet from the oven and let cool.
See, It’s so simple! I hope you try this out and reap the benefits of a pumped up immune system for winter. If you celebrated Thanksgiving this weekend, what was your favourite part & I’m also curious to know what you are thankful for.