Fall is a fun time of year to start moving away from tropical fruits and heading towards more warm spices and heartier meals. it’s natural to crave more carbs and meats, this time of year, as your body is signaling to slow down for the upcoming cold months and to save energy. so pay attention to those cravings and try to determine if they’re emotionally or physically driven and then choose meals with healthy fats.
a really good fat is found in nuts and seeds. i already shared, with you, those candied pecan and gave you a run down of pecans’ goodness. pumpkin seeds are equally as nutritious.
i wanted to share a little information with you to convince you to eat more pumpkin seeds. for this recipe, i’m using raw shelled pumpkin seeds. but you can certainly eat pumpkin seeds, roasted, in their shell. there’s added nutrition and fiber in doing so. but from this site i found this information that i think you’ll find value in:
Pumpkin kernels are also an excellent source of B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) and folates. These vitamins work as co-factors for various enzymes during cellular substrate metabolism in the human body. In addition, niacin helps in the reduction of LDL-cholesterol levels in the blood. Along with glutamate, it enhances GABA activity inside the brain, which in turn reduces anxiety and nervous irritability.
Furthermore, its seeds contain very good levels of essential minerals like copper, manganese,potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Just as in pine nuts, pumpkin seeds too are very rich in manganese (provide 4543 mg per 100 g, about 198% of daily-recommended intake).Manganese is an all-important co-factor for antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. It is therefore, consumption of pumpkin kernels helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
i purchase most of my seeds and nuts at our local Trader Joe’s. if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s, i would suggest looking online for nuts and seeds that you can buy in larger quantities, that are organic and lower in cost. to store both, i keep mine in glass jars. wash and dry old spaghetti jars, or other nut butter jars, and store your nuts and seeds in those. they’ll stay fresher longer and save shelf space in your pantry.
you’ll use two cups shelled, raw pumpkin seeds for this recipe. and you’ll also need a good food processor for the job. making nut and seed butter is usually fairly simple. it just takes a bit of patience (and maybe some earplugs) because the process takes, typically, anywhere from 10-20 minutes for the seeds/nuts to break down and their natural oils to release to create the butter. and because pumpkin seeds aren’t as oily as, say, almonds, you’ll need to add some coconut oil to the equation to create a smooth pumpkin butter. but once you do… oh my goodness. it is heavenly.
though i can tell you that if your crowd hasn’t tasted or seen pumpkin butter before, it may take some convincing. because raw pumpkin butter is quite green. my oldest daughter looked at me like i was a little ridiculous asking her to taste this creamy green stuff. but i can promise you that the flavor and texture doesn’t disappoint.
use pumpkin butter as a dip for vegetables, fruit, as a spread on bread or rice cakes. or, eat it by the spoonful. happy Fall, y’all. enjoy!
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