As we all know, there is no better season to surrender to the pumpkin obsessed trends. But, this year try skipping the PSL from your local coffee shop for a nutrient dense superfood! Don’t like pumpkin? No problem! Instead, harvest the seeds to amp up your fall nutrition! In an article by registered dietitian and Ph.D Mary Jane Brown, we learn that these pumpkin seeds are rich in many vitamins and minerals that may be missing in the Western diet. This includes vitamin E and carotenoids (help defend cells from harmful free radicals and reduces inflammation), and magnesium (helps control blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, form and maintain bone health, and regulate blood sugar levels). It has also been linked to numerous health benefits like reducing the risk of certain cancers, improving prostate and bladder health, and many more. If you still aren’t sold on these magical little seeds, even the macronutrients are hard to beat! A 1 oz serving of pumpkin seeds provide 7 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 13 grams of fat (6 grams of Omega-6 fatty acids), and 1.7 grams of fiber! (Brown, 2018) All this in mind, it’s time to FALL in love with pumpkin seeds.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with this oatmeal pumpkin chocolate chip cookie:
- 3/4 cup quick oats (60g)
- 1/2 cup oat flour – or you can finely blend oats until they turn into flour, then measure out 1/2 cup of the finely blended oats (70g)
- 1/4 cup sugar of choice or xylitol (50g)
- 3 tbsp mini chocolate chips
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup canned pumpkin (80g)
- 1-2 tbsp milk of choice, as needed (I used 2)
- 1 1/2 tbsp oil or nut butter of choice
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients (soften nut butter to a stir-able consistency first), and stir to form a batter. Add a little extra milk of choice only if needed. Form balls, then place on a cookie tray and flatten a little. (A good way to flatten cookies is to place a sheet of wax paper on the cookie, then press down with the bottom of a glass.) Bake 10 minutes, then let cool an additional 10 minutes, during which time they will firm up.
When you carve your pumpkins for Halloween, keep the seeds and flesh to use in other recipes. Separating the seeds can yield several servings of a healthy and easy to make fall snack. Just rinse the flesh of the pumpkin off the seeds, season them to your liking, and spread them out on a baking sheet. Then preheat your oven to 300 degrees F and bake for about 45 minutes.
Brown, M.J.(2018, September 24). Top Science-Based Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds. Retrieved from: