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Get the Most Out of Your Pumpkin

By Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD

Pumpkin-spiced potato chips anyone?  Or how about pumpkin-spiced frozen waffles with a matching latte?  While almost everything seems to be pumpkin flavored this year, I think I’ll stick with the original.

Pumpkins themselves are incredibly versatile — and as an added bonus, extremely alkalizing. And I find it interesting that in some traditions, the seeds are more valued than the flesh of the squash.  This makes sense, as many cultures recognize that the seeds are where we find all of the intelligence.

To get the most out of your pumpkin, try roasting the pumpkin seeds and enjoying them as a snack, on salads, in pesto or as a crunchy topping.  Pumpkin seeds can be taken from large pumpkins used for carving.

How to roast pumpkin seeds

  1. Scoop all seeds out of pumpkin and separate the “pumpkin guts” from the seeds. Don’t worry if the seeds are not perfectly clean, there will be several steps where you can continue cleaning.
  2. Rinse all of the seeds with cold water in a colander. Clean any obvious pieces of pumpkin off the seeds.
  3. Boil the seeds in lightly-salted water for between 10-20 minutes. Spread the seeds on a towel and allow them to cool. Clean the remaining pumpkin from seeds. Allow seeds to sit and dry (you can pat them dry or allow them to air dry overnight).  Another option is to skip the boiling and simply clean the seeds and let them dry out while you are preheating the oven for step #5.
  4. Place seeds in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil to coat (you can substitute other oils including walnut and pumpkin seed). Season with sea salt and/or any other spices you find tasty. Garlic, cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, curry or chipotle are all interesting additions.
  5. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast in a pre-heated oven at 325 degrees for 8 minutes and then stir the seeds. Taste test for doneness. The seeds should be crisp on the outside and nutty flavored. Continue roasting, testing a few seeds every couple of minutes until they are done to your liking.

If you’re eating the flesh of the pumpkin, you’ll want to look for sugar or sweet pumpkin (which can actually be a bit more difficult to find). What are some ways you use pumpkin and pumpkin seeds?

You can try Dr. Brown’s comprehensive supplements in her at-home bone health program, developed with Women's Health Network. Get her exclusive formulations along with her detailed lifestyle and diet guidance, plus telephone support whenever you need it. Learn more about the Better Bones Health Program.

We created the Better Bones blog as our forum to express opinions and educate the public about natural means of supporting and improving bone health and overall wellness. As part of this forum, we sometimes discuss medical issues and medications, and their effects on bone health in general. However, we cannot advise readers about specific medical issues in this forum. If you wish to obtain advice from Susan E. Brown, PhD, about your specific bone health and nutritional concerns, please visit our Consultations page. Other specific medical questions should be referred to your healthcare provider.

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