Accompanying article: Pumpkin Pie from Scratch
Here’s a healthy and tasty snack that’s effortless to make and—as a bonus—it’s a time proven kitchen remedy for parasites. Take the seeds from a pumpkin or any winter squash, spread them on a baking sheet, season to taste and bake in the oven or toaster oven until golden. How easy! Fresh roasted pumpkin seeds are enticingly aromatic and tasty.
The difference between this homey treat and commercially available green pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, is that when straight from the pumpkin their fibrous white hull is intact. These hulls are chewy. And chewy is good as it helps prevent (or expel) pinworms and other intestinal parasites. In your digestive tract, the seed is digested but the fibrous, indigestible hull gently scours out unwelcome guests!
So snacking on these seeds is good parasite prevention. And if you happen to have intestinal nasties, the Rx is to eat whole (not hulled) pumpkin seeds on an empty stomach 20 minutes prior to breakfast for a total of ten days. If necessary, wait a few days and then repeat. If you run out of pumpkin or squash seeds, substitute with well-chewed raw rice as it also has a scouring effect.
Pumpkin seeds are protein rich and an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, phosphorus and vitamin A.
What about the pulpy strings (technically placenta) that cover the seeds. You may wash and rub off the pulp but this is time consuming. I simply remove the larger pulpy clumps but leave the rest on for once baked the pulp dehydrates leaving tiny golden strands that are easily rubbed off or eaten right along with the seeds.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
2 cups pumpkin or squash seeds, with largest clumps of stringy pulp removed
1 – 2 teaspoons coconut or palm oil or butter (if butter is chilled, dice it)
1 teaspoon cinnamon or curry powder
½ to 1 teaspoon salt
Stir all ingredients together, evenly distribute on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes in a preheated 350°F oven, stirring once, or until the seeds are aromatic and lightly browned.