No matter your age, everyone enjoys carving a pumpkin. With Halloween done and dusted, you may have saved the seeds your pumpkins so graciously sacrificed. If you didn’t, no worries, you can still make this deliciously ziggin’ snack. At least now you’ll know for next Halloween – those seeds you so readily pull out of your jack-o-lantern each year, all intertwined with pumpkin guts, can actually be used to make some munchies.
Pumpkin seeds are a common food in our household, nibbled on throughout the week. They’re tasty as is, but when you transform them, taking them to that next level, you have yourself an addicting, yet healthy snack. These are definitely spicy, however, the lime zest helps tone down the heat and adds that level of freshness.
Earlier this season, when autumn officially sprung and six-packs of Muskoka Brewery’s Harvest Ale came rolling off the line, we wanted to make a little snack that would compliment its bold flavour.
Once we made a batch of spicy pumpkin seeds, we knew we had to feature this recipe in our free autumn magazine. If you haven’t already, you can still get a copy, just click here.
The winter issue of The Food & Drink Adventure will be here before you know it, featuring two of Muskoka Brewery’s seasonal brews – Winterweiss and Winter Beard. These two treats were released yesterday, so keep an eye out because you won’t want to miss out on Winter Beard, I’m telling ya.
Although I cannot wait to sink Muskoka’s Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout, there’s no need to think about winter and snow just yet – autumn is still hanging in there. To celebrate all that this season has given us, take a crack at these pumpkin seeds and drink something nice and hoppy.
Well – as long as you like heat. Remember, hop-forward beers will intensify capsaicin while malt-forward beers will tone it down. Also, if you’re not big on spice, simply decrease the amount of cayenne you use and be heavy handed with lime zest.
So, why eat these seeds?
Other than the fact that they taste good, pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses. It’s a win-win.
While focusing on nutrition, pumpkin seeds offer it all. They’re rich in iron, magnesium, zinc, protein, fiber, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids. With all the nutrition mumbo-jumbo that’s flooding the Internet these days, it can be hard to keep track of what does what in terms of your health.
The truth is, it doesn’t need to be so confusing. When you consume a whole food diet, you naturally give your body what it needs, without give it much thought at all. Changing your approach in terms of what a snack means to you, is a great place to start.
When it comes to snacking, we all do it – mindlessly munching away until our hands hit the bottom of an empty bowl. The thing is, when a bowl is full of chips, you can pound through hundreds of calories without getting much in return. When you eat a little bowl of roasted pumpkin seeds, however, you give your body the nutrients it requires to function and heal.
It’s no secret that Ste and I enjoy good beer and we’re not shy to have an Imperial stout with our Tuesday night dinner. The difference is, we feed our bodies good food. I always joke that our grocery bills reflect a family of six, even though we’re only two people. It costs more to source pasture-raised meat and organic produce, but these nutrient-rich whole foods are an investment. Not only in our health, but we’re also investing in more sustainable farming practices.
These pumpkin seeds pair well with a good quality beer in terms of flavour, of course, but they also help you out, topping up depleted magnesium levels. Remember how I said that nutrition is getting hectic in this digital age, throwing everything under the sun at you? Think of it this way – magnesium is required for more than 300 biochemical reactions within the human body. From your brain to your heart, it’s clear that you need to focus on meeting your daily needs.
Although alcohol has a role to play regarding diminishing levels, anything from exercise to stress will chew up your body’s available magnesium, as well as other vital nutrients. When you eat just one cup of roasted pumpkin seeds, you consume nearly half of your daily recommended intake of this brain-boosting mineral. Simple as that.
All of these health benefits are just icing on the cake, though.
You’re going to want to eat these seeds because they taste good, not because you’re thinking about topping up your magnesium levels. Like I said, it’s a win-win snack. So, crack a cold one, fire up the oven, and you’ll have yourself a pre-dinner snack in under ten minutes.
Give ’em a whirl.