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Halloween is great time for carving jack-o-lanterns, but there are other ways to make good use of your pumpkins. Here is an easy recipe for toasted pumpkin seeds to try out this fall. You can toast the seeds of your other winter squash this holiday season.

Not only are these tasty snacks a refreshing treat during this holiday coated in sugar, they are also full of healthy omega 3 fatty acids. In fact, there are a number of health benefits that we can get from indulging in pumpkin and squash:

The seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids, supporting a healthy heart and decreasing inflammation. They are also necessary for brain function, memory and mood stability.

Pumpkins are an excellent source of fiber with 3g per 1 cup serving. They are also rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which can improve mood.

Squash has more potassium than bananas, making them the perfect post-workout treat.

A single one-cup serving of pumpkin or squash contains 20% of the daily-recommended amount of Vitamin C, making it a perfect food for the upcoming winter season.

Pumpkin and squash are amongst the vegetables highest in Vitamin A, a single serving providing more than 100% of the recommended levels. Vitamin A is important for vision, the immune system, skin and gastrointestinal track.

Recipe: Easy Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

photo credit: satakieli on Flickr

photo credit: satakieli on Flickr


Pumpkin seeds from your freshly carved pumpkin of choice

1-2 Tbsp. olive oil

Your preference of delicious spices

1 gallon plastic zip-lock bag

Pre-set oven for 325°F. Rinse your seeds in cold water, removing all excess pumpkin pulp and gunk. Pat them dry with a cloth or paper towel and place them in your zip-lock bag. Pour olive oil and spices onto bag. Seal and shake until seeds are coated. Spread seeds evenly onto large baking sheet. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, tossing periodically throughout.

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