Who among us hasn’t had roasted pumpkin seeds during the October and November months? A childhood snack for many, these little seeds (also known as pepitas) actually pack quite the nutritional punch.
A common ingredient in Mexican cuisine, pumpkin seeds are available in packaged form year round (most commonly found by nuts and trail mixes in traditional grocery stores), and are a key ingredient in mole dishes.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
A handful of pumpkin seeds has around 8g of protein, around 11g of fiber, and around 14g of fat (with all but 2.5g of that fat being the healthy mono- and polyunsaturated kind), which means that pumpkin seeds are great if you’re looking to turn your smoothie into a more balanced meal replacement, or if you only have time for a quick snack in the afternoon.
Pumpkin seeds are incredibly rich in magnesium, an essential mineral for easing pain associated with overworked muscles. Magnesium may also help with anxiety, as well as regulating a healthier sleep/wake cycle.
Another mineral pumpkin seeds have in spades is zinc, which has been shown to help with everything from boosting your immune system to creating clearer skin.
In addition to antioxidants and potassium, pumpkin seeds also contain L-tryptophan, an amino acid that is used in the production of melatonin and serotonin, and may help naturally elevate your mood.
The Taste Of Pumpkin Seeds
Light and nutty, the flavor of pumpkin seeds is only enhanced when roasted.
Where To Buy Pumpkin Seeds
Even though fresh pumpkin seeds are always best, if it’s not the season for pumpkins, the seeds are usually sold in bulk in traditional grocery stores and health stores alike.
We’re big fans of the organic, raw and unsalted pumpkin seeds from Terrasoul.
Smoothie Recipes With Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds help make fruit or vegetable heavy smoothies into a true meal replacement! Here are some of our favorite smoothie recipes with pumpkin seeds.
Pineapple Orange Greensicle
Drink this smoothie for digestion and inflammation issues. On second thought, drink this smoothie whenever you want because it’s delicious! Pineapple and turmeric both fight heartburn and indigestion. Orange and pumpkin seeds combine as a kind of natural vitamin C and zinc tablet, boosting immunity and creating nuanced flavors. Lacinato kale is the “black kale” of Tuscan cuisine, providing fiber and detoxification properties.
Green Apple Limeade
Pumpkin seeds are not only full of fiber and heart healthy Omega-3s, they’re also a fantastic source for the minerals zinc and magnesium. Pear and zucchini are wonderful sources of fiber as well, and collard greens are bursting with vitamins A and C, calcium and iron. Add in some lime for a pop of citrus and applesauce for more fiber and sweetness, and you have a nutritionally complete smoothie that will power you through your workout, that two hour meeting, or just a day full of running around and getting things done.
Slightly sweet, slightly savory, this smoothie is definitely green and clean! Have you heard that tatsoi spinach is the new kale? In any case, it's just as tasty and versatile. Its slightly earthy flavor is reminiscent of bok choy and blends nicely with the caramelly notes of camu camu. Make things nutty with iron-rich pumpkin seeds. Subtle sage, hydrating cantaloupe, and sweet pear will make this a unique treat you can’t resist.
Watermelon Cherry Mint
Somehow we managed to combine every iconic summer flavor into one delicious drinkable.Have you ever had cherry tomatoes with actual cherries? Pair these with watermelon and it’s a pretty red hydration bomb! Pomegranate is one of nature’s biggest sources of antioxidants, with more of the cancer and inflammation fighters than red wine or green tea. Pumpkin seeds are rich in iron, which helps regenerate skin and stimulate blood flow for that healthy glow.
Sage Apple Pear
Chard has a light, earthy flavor and blends nicely with the sweet taste of camu camu (which is bursting with skin-beautifying vitamin C). Pumpkin seeds are full of fiber (which helps to keep you satisfied), zinc (great for a healthy immune system and clear skin), and magnesium (a mineral that most people don’t get enough of that helps with a regular sleep cycle and muscle soreness). Sage is also great for muscle soreness, and has even been shown to ward against cognitive decline. Amp up your beauty and brains with this light drink.
Strawberry Peach Pick-Me-Up
As long as there are still fresh strawberries to be had, summer is still here. In addition to getting almost a full day’s worth of vitamin C -- a water-soluble vitamin that has to be added to our bodies daily -- from the strawberries, nectarine and pineapple, you’ll also get a bunch zinc and antioxidants from pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are quite the antioxidant powerhouses, as are maqui berries, which have more antioxidants per serving than almost any other fruit. When you add a few cooling sprigs of mint, an herb known for aiding in digestion, into the mix, you’ve got a summary drink that will keep you healthy all the way through fall.
Lychee Kiwi Glow
If you want to have glowing skin, amping up the amount of vitamin C you eat every day is the perfect way to do it! Native to China, lychee fruits have more vitamin C per serving than oranges, as well as powerful antioxidants, copper and iron. Maqui berry, which has an extremely high amount of antioxidants, is also bursting with vitamin C, as are kiwis. Add in some pumpkin seeds, which are full of magnesium and zinc (minerals that are beneficial for skin), and hydrating coconut water, and you have a delicious, skin-purifying elixir.
This fiberful blend will get your system running smoothly! Apricots are a good source of catechins, a family of flavonoid phytonutrients. These small fruits contain four to five grams of the anti-inflammatory catechins, as well as vitamins A and C. Speaking of vitamin C, rosehip powder is an excellent source. It’s also an anti-inflammatory, and may help regulate blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure! This light drink is a fantastic nutrient-dense meal replacement, or a energy-boosting snack.
Lime Cilantro Kicker
Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, a vital nutrient for everything from sore muscles, to a balanced sleep cycle, to digestion. They’re also a great source of zinc and Omega-3s. Reishi mushroom powder is a potent immunity booster, as well as a natural cancer fighter. Pair these two superfoods with nutrient-dense collard greens (protein, vitamins K, A and C), a creamy base of squash (vitamin A) and applesauce, a tart lemon (vitamin C), and the tickling sensation of cilantro, and you have a low calorie, low sugar, low carb snack that will make your body and your mind feel like a million bucks.
Orange Cranberry Calm
Cranberries, pears, oranges… all the traditional flavors of the holiday season blended together with spicy, anti-inflammatory ginger. This smoothie provides an ample amount of vitamin C and antioxidants, as well as magnesium, zinc and healthy Omega-3 fatty acids from the pumpkin seeds. Check off every item on your holiday To-Do list with this delicious vitality elixir.
This Lemonades-inspired smoothie will have you glowing from the inside out. Carrots and apples are packed with vitamins A and C which help to promote radiant skin. Lemon and ginger will soothe your digestive system. Plus, to top it all off, pumpkin seeds are loaded with magnesium which helps to promote proper bone growth and maintenance. Save a few seeds for garnish. Cheers!