Pumpkin seeds: a nutritious snack
Pumpkins long led a more or less shadowy existence in both people’s kitchens and organic food. This was all the more the case where their delicious and nutritious seeds were concerned. Only in the last 15 or 20 years were they rediscovered in Switzerland as a snack with a beneficial effect. However, the pumpkin was already cultivated as a crop 7,000 years ago, and its seeds have been appreciated in the Orient as a delicious and beneficial snack between meals since time immemorial.
The pumpkin produces the biggest fruit of any plant. Strictly speaking they are berries which each contain up to 150 pumpkin seeds. After the harvest, they are removed from the flesh, washed and dried, either automatically or by hand. If they are sold without the shell, there is also another drying process after hulling. However, the well-known and popular green pumpkin seeds produced by the Styrian oil pumpkin do not have to be peeled: they are shell-less due to a genetic mutation. In addition, they also produce dark green and highly aromatic pumpkin seed oil.
Pumpkin seeds are full of vital substances
Like practically all seeds, pumpkin seeds are rich in proteins, vitamins, trace elements and polyunsaturated fatty acids. 30 grams already provide 15 per cent of the recommended daily intake of protein. The same amount of pumpkin seeds, for example, also provides up to 30 per cent of the recommended daily intake of iron, copper and magnesium. Modern ecotrophology has also made it possible to identify other special active substances in pumpkin seeds:
- The high percentage of phytosterols results in lower cholesterol levels and also has a positive effect on benign prostate enlargement.
- As an amino acid, lysine is not contained in the body from the outset, but is biochemically converted there before being incorporated into many metabolic processes.
- The tryptophan contained in pumpkin seeds is transformed into serotonin in the organism, which puts you in a good mood and is responsible for a restful night’s sleep as the “sleep hormone” melatonin.
A tempting variety of pumpkin seeds
We are not aware of these and other beneficial effects, at least not directly, when we eat the pumpkin seeds as a snack or as an ingredient in other dishes. On the other hand, we can immediately enjoy its delicious, mild and nutty flavour. If you do not want to eat the pumpkin seeds raw from your hand, you can also …
- roast them in a pan without fat and sprinkle them over any salad
- mix them into your breakfast muesli to create a crispy contrast in flavour
- or use them as a valuable and tasty addition to bread dough.
Try these and other ideas to discover the many tempting ways of eating pumpkin seeds!