America’s recent obsession with pumpkin has manifested itself in a whole flurry of fall-flavored snacks: pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin Oreos, cereal bars, croutons, yogurts, chocolates—the list goes on. But it’s time to move away from the artificial options and revisit one of the truly beneficial aspects of the rotund, orange plant: its seeds.

Pumpkins seeds are more than a by-product of carving seasonal decorations. Once you remove the shells, you are left with light green kernels, also known as pepitas, which are the perfect snack for traveling or when you’re on the go.

Versatile and packed with benefits, pepitas don’t need to be refrigerated and they don’t require a lot of space in your bag. Satisfy your hunger by eating these nutrient-dense seeds to give your body zinc, manganese and iron. That translates into helping build your immune system, boost your mood, fight the common cold and stimulate skin renewal.

Pumpkin seeds are also a high source of magnesium and tryptophan, meaning they can help your muscles relax and give you a better night’s sleep—or a more restful nap on the plane or train.

Aside from enjoying the seeds on their own, there are many ways you can incorporate the superfood into your meals. They are ideal for supercharging your breakfast or adding a nutrient-filled punch to a dessert. Below are nine divine possibilities for pumpkin seeds. Why not try them all?

9 Ways to Eat Pumpkin Seeds

  1. Add to salads
  2. Mix into cookie batter
  3. Garnish in a soup
  4. Make your own granola with a pepita crunch
  5. Pour into yogurt or oatmeal
  6. Combine with trail mix
  7. Dust with brown sugar and make them candied
  8. Sprinkle into chocolate bark while it sets
  9. Toast and roast them in the oven

 

Author: Allison Klibanoff