Pumpkin seeds pack a lot of punch when it comes to nutrition. Those small, flat, green gems offer a wide range of benefits that make them an ideal anytime-of-the-year snack, not just in October when carving jack-o-lanterns supplies us with a few days’ worth of crunchy, toasted seeds.
Now readily available in most supermarkets and health food stores year round, pumpkin seeds are a great addition to salads or trail mixes.
And, believe it or not, pumpkin seeds can be turned into milk. Who would have guessed that simply blending such emerald-hued seeds with water would produce a liquid as white as dairy milk? Before I share my secret recipe, let me give you a rundown on a few of the potential benefits of adding pumpkin seeds to your diet.
Pumpkin seeds contain:
Magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, iron, copper, and zinc. Zinc is important for healthy prostate function, immune function and bone health.*
Alpha-linolenic acid an essential fat that is supportive of healthy cell membranes.*
Phytosterols, or natural plant compounds that are similar to the body’s cholesterol.
The amino acid L-tryptophan. L-tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, an important brain neurotransmitter.
How to make pumpkin seed milk:
1 cup pumpkin seeds
5 cups water
Optional: stevia or agave syrup, maple syrup or honey, to taste
1. Combine ingredients in high-speed blender; blend on high for one minute.
2. Strain liquid.
3. Add vanilla and/or optional sweetener, if desired.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Laurie Steelsmith, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist who specializes in women’s health. She is the co-author of Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman’s Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine and co-author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health: How the Secrets of Natural and Chinese Medicine Can Create a Lifetime of Wellness.