By Dylan Bailey, MS
With Halloween being a mere 6 days away, it’s time to recognize a favorite of the scary season – the pumpkin! This staple has been used to celebrate Halloween for hundreds of years. Commonly, we see pumpkins transformed into jack-o-lanterns, complete with carvings of just about anything (check out these DIY jack-o-lantern ideas). But, did you ever take pause and notice what is produced while prepping your pumpkin?
Seeds. Lots and lots of seeds. Instead of chucking them out this season, let’s try something different and fun for the whole family.
Also known as pepitas, pumpkin seeds are the unofficial hero of Halloween. Not only are they a nutritional powerhouse, loaded with healthy fats, fiber, protein and necessary micronutrients like manganese (important for metabolism and antioxidant protection) and iron (necessary for growth, development and cell functioning), but they add a crunchy texture and savory bite to just about any recipe, including salads.
Making your own pepitas is a fantastic activity that kids will love and can be done as you carve your jack-o-lanterns. You can follow these steps here to make your own pepitas and get inspired to add pumpkin seeds to some of Libby’s® favorite salad recipes to enjoy post-pumpkin carving.
Try sprinkling a tablespoon of your freshly roasted pepitas on top of this tasty Taco Salad featuring Libby’s® Whole Kernel Sweet Corn. The crunch from these seeds will add a nice texture to compliment the tortilla chips and black beans.
Checkered Flag Chicken, Corn and Bean Salad
This zesty salad screams for the extra crunch. Dressing with garlic, ginger, red pepper and lime juice among other delicious ingredients will pair perfectly with the roasted goodness of fresh roasted pepitas. Aim to add one to two tablespoons of your pumpkin seeds.
Warm Baby Green Salad with Peas Pistachios and Pecorino
Try substituting the pistachios used in this Warm Baby Green Salad with Peas, Pistachios and Pecorino recipe for your fresh roasted seeds. Use a half cup of your seeds to add a savory and nutty bang to this already wonderful salad.