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A Fall Favorite: Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

10/5/2011 12:26:23 PM

Tags: Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin, Fall Favorite, Recipes, Health Benefits, Fall, Justine Patton, Iron, Protein, Fiber

J.PattonIt’s hard to believe it, but October is well underway, and with it comes searching for the perfect Halloween costume, scaring others with tales of ghosts and ghouls, and—my personal favorite—pumpkin carving!

After you scoop out all of your pumpkin’s insides, it’s time to ask yourself, “What should I do with all this slimy, orange goop?”

Before busting out a trash bag and kicking your seeds to the curb, consider this: The pumpkin seed is one of the most nutritious edible seeds you can eat. These off-white seeds are full of iron, protein and fiber. They also contain vitamins E and B.

Uncover more health benefits from pumpkin seeds.

10-6-2011-sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds 
These seeds are both delicious and nutritious. They're full of iron, protein and fiber.
Photo by Amber Karnes/ Courtesy 

So, instead of throwing them out, turn your pumpkin seeds into a healthy snack.

Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Seeds 

This recipe takes your typical roasted pumpkin seed recipe and kicks it up a notch, adding a few of our favorite spices, cumin, cinnamon and ginger, which add their own benefits to this already healthful recipe. MAKES 1 CUP SEEDS

•  1 medium pumpkin
•  5 tablespoons sugar
•  1/4 teaspoon salt
•  1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
•  1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•  1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
•  A pinch of cayenne pepper to taste
•  1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil

1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut pumpkin open from the bottom, removing seeds with a long-handled spoon. Separate flesh from seeds, and reserve the flesh for another use. Spread seeds on parchment in an even layer. Bake until dry, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Let cool.

3. In a medium bowl combine 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, cumin, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne pepper. Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Cook until sugar melts and the pumpkin seeds begin to caramelize, about 45 to 60 seconds.

4. Transfer to bowl with spices, and stir well to coat. Let cool. These may be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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