Speaking of winter squash, which is especially sweet, we can use them in infinite ways: their flavor and texture combine well with flavors such as almond, cinnamon, chestnut, ginger, apple, coconut, aromatics such as rosemary or thyme. And mushrooms.
It is straightforward to roast them, opening them in half or quarters, removing the seeds, making a few cuts in the pulp, and baking them upside down until the skin is dark.
The pulp of the roasted pumpkin can be the base of endless preparations:
We can add egg, potato, and flour to make delicious ñoki at home, which can be sautéed once cooked with aromatic herbs and olive oil. With the roasted pulp and adding only a little vegetable broth, salt, and pepper, we can obtain a delicious soup/cream that we can combine with a poached egg, some chopped nuts, parsley, or thyme. The cream is delicious if we incorporate a part of coconut milk. It can be incorporated into healthy sponge dough, thus substituting the sugar for the sweetness of the pumpkin. Cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and pepper combine perfectly with the flavor of pumpkin. We can also use a small portion of the pulp of the roasted pumpkin to sweeten our porridge and porridge or make fantastic pancakes without sugar.
We can also roast the pumpkin in cubes or small “segments” already peeled. A pinch of salt and pepper and a thread of olive oil are enough dressing. Later we can serve them as “chips” if we make them very crunchy or incorporate them into dishes such as stews, salads, woks, tortillas, or curries. Its possibilities are innumerable.
Fight intestinal parasites
These seeds have been used as a home remedy to combat intestinal parasites because they have antiparasitic and anthelmintic action and can be used in children and adults.
- Fight anemia
These seeds are an excellent vegetable source of iron, which is why they help fight anemia and can also be consumed by vegans or vegetarians to increase the supply of iron to the body.
Together with the seeds, it is essential that some source is ingested that provides vitamin C to promote its absorption at the intestinal level. Some foods rich in vitamin C are orange, tangerine, papaya, strawberries, and kiwi. See a complete list of foods with vitamin C.
- Fight belly pain
Pumpkin seeds help fight stomach pain and colic generated during premenstrual syndrome because it contains magnesium, which is a mineral that works by decreasing muscle contraction and nerve function and, consequently, menstrual pain.
- Take care of heart health
These seeds have phytosterols, magnesium, zinc, good fatty acids, and omega-3s, which help maintain heart health because they exert a cardioprotective effect and help control blood pressure, reduce cardiovascular risk, and decrease cholesterol, and control blood sugar levels.
- Regulate blood sugar
Thanks to its high fiber and magnesium content, pumpkin seeds help regulate blood sugar, which is very important for people with diabetes and obesity with insulin resistance or hyperinsulinism.
How to prepare pumpkin seeds
To consume pumpkin seeds, they must be extracted from the pumpkin, washed, and placed on a plate to expose them to the sun; it is essential to cover the plate with a fine mesh to prevent flies from standing on them. Once dry, they can be consumed.
Another way that these seeds can be prepared is by placing them on a tray with parchment paper in the oven at a maximum of 75º C until they are golden. Usually, it takes about 30 minutes. It is essential to move them to avoid burning. They can also be toasted in a skillet or the microwave.
If you want to give them a different flavor, it is possible to drizzle a little olive oil over the seeds and a pinch of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, or salt.
How to consume them
Properly dried pumpkin seeds can be used whole in salad or soup, for example, or as an aperitif in snacks, when sprinkled with salt and powdered ginger, as is common in Greece.
However, do not add too much salt, especially if you suffer from hypertension. Consuming around 10-15 grams of seeds every day for one week is excellent for eliminating intestinal parasites.
They can be added to cereals, yogurt, or fruit juice. To grind them, place them in a blender or a process.
Pumpkin seed oil
It can be bought in certain supermarkets or ordered online stores. This oil should be used to dress the salad or add it to the soup once it is ready because this oil loses its properties when heated, so it should always be used raw.
Among the vegetable seeds, pumpkin seeds are the best known due to their medicinal properties. Pumpkin seeds are a very nutritious food, so they are used as a natural remedy for countless problems. However, they should be taken with caution and consider their contraindications since they could also generate specific adverse effects in the body.
To take advantage of all the benefits of this plant food, at UNCOMO, we tell you everything you need to know about pumpkin seeds: properties and contraindications. Please keep reading and discover what the benefits of pumpkin seeds for our bodies are. In addition, you will learn how to consume them properly so as not to harm your well-being. Let’s go there!
Properties of pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are well known for their nutritional and medicinal properties. Many nutritionists recommend its consumption to complement healthy diets, mainly in people with overweight problems. Among the properties of pumpkin seeds, we find:
Anti-inflammatory: pumpkin seeds are a highly recommended food for those who suffer from arthritis pain. An oil widely used to treat muscle and bone injuries is extracted from pumpkin seeds. It is mainly due to its high zinc content, a fundamental mineral for cells that can act as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent.
Antioxidants: pumpkin seeds contain vitamins A, K, and E, compounds that play an antioxidant role in the body, helping us prevent aging and protect our body from free radical attack.
Relaxing: in its composition, pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid that the body transforms into serotonin and, later, into melatonin. Thanks to this, pumpkin seeds are perfect for fighting insomnia and reducing our anxiety levels.
Digestive: being a food very rich in fiber, pumpkin seeds can become a great ally in regulating intestinal transit. Consuming pumpkin seeds daily and in moderation for long periods can help us reduce abdominal bloating and avoid digestive problems such as constipation.