Pumpkin Seeds: Nutrition with Crunch!

Happy Halloween to all you trick-or-treaters out there!

If you’re responsible for handing out goodies to the ghosts, monsters, pirates, and princesses who come to your door, I’ve got an easy trick for you so you don’t dip into the treats yourself: snack on pumpkin seeds instead!

Halloween is the perfect time to scoop these big, slimy seeds from the heart of a jack-o-lantern. But they’re a tasty snack any time of year. And you can use them to dodge some common health threats, too, like:

Say “BOO” to B.O. Pumpkin seeds provide a good, concentrated supply of the mineral zinc, a deficiency of which can lead to body odor.

Don’t be a zombie. Make pumpkin seeds part of your mid-day snack — their protein will keep you energized.

Cramps haunting you? Pumpkin seeds are loaded with fatty acids that lower levels of body chemicals responsible for muscle aches and menstrual cramps.

Dr. Frankenstein should have known about this… The minerals in pumpkin seeds, especially zinc, will help your body heal when you have a cut or other injury and especially after surgery.

Here’s the easy how-to for tasty pumpkin seeds that’ll make you forget all about that fun-size Snickers bar:

STEP 1. Rinse the seeds and separate them from the stringy flesh.

STEP 2. Add the seeds to a big pot of saltwater (2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt for every ½-cup of pumpkin seeds). Boil for 10 minutes.

STEP 3. Remove from heat and drain.

STEP 4. Spread the seeds in one layer on a baking sheet, and brush them with olive oil.

STEP 5. If you want a little extra flavor, season the seeds with your choice of flavors: garlic salt, cayenne pepper, Cajun spices, or whatever you like.

STEP 6. Preheat your oven to 350°F and bake the seeds for 45 minutes or so. Shake the pan every 10 minutes to keep them from burning.