Peter, Peter Pepita Eater
Had the infamous nursery rhyme character Peter (the Pumpkin Eater) actually eaten the seeds along with his favorite autumnal squash, he may have had some better luck with his ladies. He most certainly would have been in much better health!
First, a little background on this sensational squash's sumptuous and scrumptious seeds. The pumpkin and its seeds have been a part of human agricultural and dietary history longer than corn (maize) and common beans. Native to the Americas, it's domestication can be dated back over 4,000 years.
The nutrient-rich seeds have became an important and favorite ingredient, especially Mexican cuisine where it is called Pepita ("little seed of squash").
While pumpkin seeds, or should I say Pepitas, have always been a fall favorite around our house, had we known of their many health benefits, we would have been enjoying their addictive, crunchy goodness year round.
Crunchy, delicious pumpkin seeds are high in calories from protein and fats that help lower bad LDL cholesterol and increases good HDL cholesterol in the blood. In addition, they are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and numerous health promoting antioxidants.
Even the World Health Organization recommends their consumption, especially as a source of mineral zinc. If you want to maximize the amount of zinc that you will be getting from your pumpkin seeds, we recommend eating them in un-shelled form.
"Although recent studies have shown there to be little zinc in the shell itself (the shell is also called the seed coat or husk), there is a very thin layer directly beneath the shell called the endosperm envelope, and it is often pressed up very tightly against the shell. Zinc is especially concentrated in this endosperm envelope"
Even with all of these healthy benefits, I'm still craving my perennial Halloween treat ...Pepitas!
This year, however, I will be trying some new ways to enjoy the healthy goodness as a way to mix things up and keep it "fresh" throughout the year! Here a few to get me (us) started:
and of course, our favorite, ROASTED PEPITAS! Here are 8 easy recipes , but they are so versatile that it's easy to quickly adapt them to your own "family favorite"!
Hope you enjoy & be sure to let us know.