- why pumpkin seeds help you lose weight
- The SECRET Step to roasting perfect pumpkin seeds
- make pumpkin seeds a balanced snack
When I say Halloween, do you think candy?
Cauldrons and cobwebs?
Or do black cats come to mind…
Maybe you think of costumes.
Have you noticed that Halloween has turned into an excuse to become a sexy [blank]?
Like instead of dressing up as a witch, people go as a sexy witch.
Or a sexy Donald Trump…
Or even a sexy plant-based burger:
Source: Good Housekeeping ’26 Funny, Sexy Halloween Costumes for 2019′ – images and outfits yandy.com
What’s this got to do with how pumpkin seeds help you lose weight?
Just some water-cooler banter before we begin.
Ok. So, for the 10 years I tried to lose weight I NEVER would’ve eaten roasted pumpkin seeds.
Because they’re made with oil and I was scared—like Freddy Krueger scared—of eating fat.
But now I know that eating fat helps you lose weight.
Roasted pumpkin seeds help you lose weight
…because they’re made with natural ingredients.
The natural choice is the healthiest choice and the healthiest choice helps you lose weight.
Why pumpkin seeds help you lose weight
Pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas) are full of nutrition, including:
- B vitamins
- natural fats ( = healthy fats!)
- tryptophan (your body changes tryptophan into a brain chemical called serotonin that boosts mood and helps you sleep)
When you make pumpkin seeds part of a balanced meal (they add a nice crunch to the salad part of your meal) or part of a balanced snack, you get all the essential vitamins and minerals your body requires. Then you fill up naturally and don’t eat more than you need. In other words, when you meet your body’s nutrition needs, you feel full.
Whereas processed foods are packed with unnatural ingredients that don’t meet your body’s needs. So you stay hungry. And you keep eating.
The SECRET Step to roasting the perfect pumpkin seeds
When I was kid we roasted pumpkin seeds by pulling them out of the pumpkin and throwing them on a cookie tray with a bit of salt.
They were great and I loved them. (This was before I began dieting obsessively).
But recently Alex introduced me to The SECRET Step.
And he did The SECRET Step when roasting squash seeds.
So if you’ve carved your pumpkin and the seeds are long gone, you can still roast seeds all winter when you eat squash. I’m not a big fan of squash. But I love squash soup with a dollop of full-fat sour cream on top, cracked pepper and a handful of cilantro.
Below you’ll find 5 photos that walk you through how to roast pumpkin seeds… including The SECRET Step. (Have I built this up enough yet?)
Then a printable recipe follows, that details the specifics (like timing, oven temperature and so on).
There’s also a bit of troubleshooting.
Scoop out the seeds
Cut open your pumpkin and get in there.
Separate the seeds
The easiest way to isolate the seeds from the pumpkin guts is to put them in a bowl of water.
The seeds will rise to the top and you can easily pull them away from the stringy orange substance.
I’m not too particular as a little roasted pumpkin innards tastes good to me.
The SECRET Step to roasting pumpkin seeds
Boil your seeds.
Yup. That’s right.
Bring your pot of water and pumpkin seeds to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer. This makes the seeds crispier and easier to digest.
Strain your pumpkin seeds
Then pat those slippery suckers (to quote Julia Roberts in the movie Pretty Woman) until they’re pretty dry. Just get the excess water off, they don’t have to be bone dry.
Pluck off the pumpkin seeds that stick to the paper towel.
Put pumpkin seeds on a baking tray
Massage them with a bit of olive oil and add a sprinkle of sea salt. (People don’t say sprinkle enough. Please make a point of saying it sometime today.)
Now your pumpkin seeds are ready to eat
Along with tons of essential vitamins and minerals, pumpkin seeds are a digestible protein and PACKED with fiber. In my book I explain why fiber helps you fill up naturally, stay full longer, lose weight and be SUPER healthy. Your body loooves fiber. And the ONLY kind that matters is the fiber found in natural foods. While my book goes into depth about fiber, it’s just a tidy two-page spread. I read a ton of research on the impressive work fiber does in your body and it’s changed how I see food. So I quickly tucked it into Step 2 (of 3) in my book just before it went to the printers.
Make pumpkin seeds part of a balanced snack that helps you lose weight
Here’s how to make roasted pumpkin seeds part of a ROUGHLY balanced snack made MOSTLY of whole foods:
Fruit & Vegetables
in this picture I have an apple but an orange is better
because pumpkin seeds are packed with iron and Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron
Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta & other starchy carbohydrates
it’s ok to not have a perfectly balanced snack – be flexible!
Oils & spreads
there’s oil on your pumpkin seeds
Dairy & alternatives
latte made with whole milk
Please Note: calcium inhibits the absorption of iron
so consider having a milky coffee shortly after eating your orange & pumpkin seeds
a delay will allow you to get the maximum nutrition
Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat & other proteins
they’re a fiber-packed protein!
Roasted pumpkin seed recipe
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 15 to 20 minutes
Makes: a tray-full of pumpkin seeds
Ingredients for Roasted pumpkin seeds:
- 1 pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon or more of olive oil
- sea salt
10 easy steps:
1. Preheat oven to 325F (160C)
2. Line baking sheet with tin foil
3. Scoop seeds out of pumpkin & put in bowl of water to separate
4. The SECRET Step: Boil seeds in salt water at medium heat for 10 minutes
6. Pat dry with paper towel
7. Put seeds on baking sheet
8. Massage seeds with olive oil & sprinkle with sea salt
9. Bake for 10 minutes then shuffle them around with a fork
10. Bake for 5 to 10 more minutes… or until the seed inside the shell is just starting to look golden
…your roasted pumpkin seeds are ready!
1. The inner seeds cook much faster than the outer shell so don’t judge the seed by its shell
2. The shells stay fairly white, even when they’re crispy and ready to eat
3. Keep checking the seeds over the last 5 minutes (take a few out and try them – yum!) because pumpkin seeds can easily burn!!!
Wishing you and yours a Happy Halloween!
Our black cat, Oliver, passed away 2 years ago just after Halloween. We miss him. Coconut’s no Halloween cat, but that’s ok. It’s important to BE YOURSELF.
Make Today Count
Don’t have a pumpkin?
Next time you’re at the grocery store check out the seed aisle. There’s so many delicious seeds, from flax and chia to sesame and sunflower… that you can make part of your balanced meals and snacks.
Look for seeds that are RAW or dry roasted. They’re the closest to their natural state and therefore the healthiest option. If you can’t find them in the natural section of your grocery store, ask for help. Sometimes no one knows until they check the store computer 🙂
Build healthy eating and exercise habits. A healthy weight will follow.
Got a pumpkin? Love squash? There’s tons of interesting recipes for each… but don’t throw out the seeds! I hate waste. This roasted pumpkin seed recipe will help you dress up your balanced meals and snacks and reach a healthy weight naturally.
Are you going out tonight? Maybe to a Halloween Party?
Or staying in?
When you smash your pumpkins… roast your seeds!
Please share The SECRET Step in this post with anyone who loves roasted seeds and hates waste.
What’s your favourite pumpkin recipe?
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Sharing what I learned makes the 10 years I STRUGGLED worth it
All the information you share makes so much sense! I love the content you post!
If you have any specific questions just let me know.
I’d love to answer them,
I’m an avid reader of yours.
Thank you for explaining everything so clearly.
Thanks Stephen! If you have any questions about healthy eating or exercise or building healthy habits, let me know. I’d love to answer your questions in a blog post. Cheers, Kelly
Hi there Kelly,
Thank you for sharing your expert views on eating natural food and natural fat.
I’m going to try this recipe!
So excited you’re trying this recipe! Pumpkin (or squash) seeds are delicious. Thanks for your comment, Sarah 🙂
Hi Kelly, just tried this pumpkin seed recipe, I love it! By the way I love the content and recipes that you have been posting.
Thanks Tina! If you have any questions about reaching a healthy weight naturally please let me know. I always love to hear from readers because whatever you’re wondering lots of other people are too. xoKelly
I love your blog, Kelly! Thanks for this recipe. I’m going to try it with squash seeds this weekend. Thanks again, Mercy
Thanks Mercy! That’s so kind of you. Have a great weekend and enjoy the squash seeds! They’re a bit smaller than pumpkin seeds so keep an eye on them. They’ll likely cook a little faster. 🙂 Kelly
Love the photos of your adorable pets, Kelly! Thanks for this great recipe! I love pumpkins. 🙂
Pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin anything is delicious (now that I’m an adult!) But I especially love pumpkin seeds roasted with some sea salt… And any excuse to include photos of animals. Thanks Kathy! LOVE your pets too, xoK