Your favorite orange Halloween decoration can do more for you than sit on your porch and look festive. While you’ve likely noticed a designated aisle at the grocery store with pumpkin-flavored everything lately, many of those processed treats are high in calories, so–with all the candy going around this month–they are the last things we need to eat. Luckily, everyone's favorite fall squash actually offers great nutrients when it's incorporated into recipes.

Looking to add more pumpkin into your diet? Thankfully, there is no need to feel bad about it, because one cup of cooked pumpkin contains:

  • Protein
  • Fiber
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin E
  • Iron

Pumpkin is also high in antioxidants, which help break down the “free radicals” that are responsible for damaging healthy cells in your body ("free radicals" are substances commonly found in our bodies that are caused by digesting food, sunlight, and toxins like pollution or smoke). While pumpkin itself offers a variety of nutrients, the seeds can make tasty and healthy snacks, too. Packed with nutrients, pumpkin seeds are beneficial to your body in several ways, including helping your skin and promoting healthy bone growth. The seeds also offer manganese, which can aid in sleeping better and boosting your mood – who wouldn't appreciate that?

If you haven't already been convinced to add more pumpkin to your diet, maybe some tasty pumpkin seed recipes will do the trick. To reap the benefits of your porch pumpkin, check out the easy pumpkin seed recipes below.

But first, one quick tip for picking apart your pumpkin: Cut open the pumpkin and scoop out the insides using a spoon. To separate the seeds from the flesh, add the contents of the pumpkin to a bowl of water. The seeds should float to the top, then you can use your hand or a spoon to brush off any remaining strings or pumpkin from the seeds. Scoop the seeds out and dry them on a plate by dabbing them with a napkin.

 

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  • Place rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
  • Place pumpkin seeds in a small bowl, drizzle with oil and stir to coat. Add salt, stir to combine and coat. Spread on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.
  • Bake the seeds, stirring once or twice, until toasted and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
 

Honey Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw fresh pumpkin seeds, washed and pumpkin goop picked off
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. If your pumpkin seeds are wet from washing, dry them a bit on a clean dish towel or on paper towels. Place the pumpkin seeds in a medium bowl.
  • In a small microwave safe bowl, add the butter, oil or coconut oil, and honey. Microwave until the butter melts and the honey is runny. Pour the honey mixture over the pumpkin seeds and stir. Add the cinnamon and stir again.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper so that the paper hangs over both ends. Dump the pumpkin seeds into the middle of the paper and place it in the oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the seeds and honey are a deep golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes.
  • When the seeds are roasted, remove from the oven and stir again. Stir a few times as they cool to keep them from sticking in one big lump. Enjoy the seeds once they are cool enough to eat. Store uncovered for up to one week.
 

Chili Lime Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pepitas
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp lime juice

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine the ingredients for each flavor in separate bowls.
  • Mix until fully combined.
  • Spread over the prepared baking sheet.
  • Roast for 20 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool.

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