It’s pumpkin season! In spite of a vocal minority who complain about the appearance of pumpkin-flavored-everything at the grocery store, many of us look forward to the annual return of this festive fall flavor. Americans spent nearly $500 million dollars on pumpkin products in 2018, and companies are constantly figuring out ways to get on the pumpkin spice bandwagon.
Love it or hate it, pumpkin season is here to stay. Why not make the most of it by reaping the surprising number of health benefits this stupendous squash provides? Let’s take a closer look at the healing power of pumpkin.
Planning to carve some pumpkins for Halloween this year? Make sure you save the seeds! In addition to tasting great, pumpkin seeds are chock full of nutrients. These include:
Not sure how best to enjoy pumpkin seeds? One of the easiest and tastiest ways to prepare pumpkin seeds is to roast them. Simply spread seeds on a parchment-lined baking sheet and season with salt. (You can also toss them in a bit of melted butter or olive oil first.) In an oven preheated to 350 degrees, bake seeds for about 20 minutes or until they’re golden brown, giving the baking sheet a shake halfway through to prevent burning. Let the seeds cool, then enjoy!
Hulled pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are extremely versatile. They can be tossed into salads and sprinkled onto soup. Or you can use them to whip up a batch of this grain-free granola, courtesy of the Wildcrafter, Tieraona Low Dog, MD. A bowl of this hearty granola is a beautifully beneficial way to start your day.
You can also use pumpkin seeds to create your own healthy flour for baking. You can replace some of the flour in most recipes to add a nutritional kick!
Ever wondered what it is about pumpkin spice that makes it so irresistible? It turns out that “pumpkin spice” is actually a blend of several different spices, some of which have powerful medicinal properties. Here are two of them.
Now that you know just how beneficial pumpkin is to your health, you can indulge your pumpkin spice cravings without shame. Cut yourself a big ol’ slab of pumpkin bread, make some healthy pumpkin seed granola, brew up a cup of Wildcrafter coffee, and enjoy the flavor of the season before it’s gone (until next year).