Pumpkin seeds are excellent source of amino acids tryptophan and glutamate. Tryptophan is converted in to serotonin and niacin. Serotonin is a beneficial neuro-chemical often labelled as nature's sleeping pill.
Add pumpkin seeds to healthy sautéed vegetables. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top of mixed green salads. Grind pumpkin seeds with fresh garlic, parsley and cilantro leaves. Mix with olive oil and lemon juice for a tasty salad dressing. Add chopped pumpkin seeds to your favorite hot or cold cereal. Add pumpkin seeds to your oatmeal raisin cookie or granola recipe. Next time you make burgers, whether it be from vegetables, turkey or beef, add some ground pumpkin seeds.
Crunchy pumpkin seeds are rich in calories. In addition they are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and numerous health promoting antioxidants. 100 g pumpkin kernels provide 559 calories.
Their high caloric content mainly comes from fats. However, the nuts are especially rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) like oleic acid (18:1) that helps to lower LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increase HDL or "good cholesterol" in the blood100 g seeds provide 30 g or 54% of recommended daily allowance of protein.
Pepitas are very good source of anti-oxidant vitamin E; contain about 35.10 mg of tocopherol-γ per 100 g. Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant. It prevents tissue cells from the free radical mediated oxidant injury. Pumpkin kernels are also excellent source of B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) and folates. These vitamins functions as co-factors for enzymes during cellular substrate metabolism in the body. In addition, niacin help reduce LDL-cholesterol levels in the blood.
Pumpkin seeds contain very good levels of essential minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.
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