Parents, October often brings to mind pumpkins and yummy treats! October is also National Eat Better, Eat Together Month, so let’s plan a healthy snack for the whole family to enjoy together. The operative word here is “together.” We may think about family meals and have learned how important they are for healthy families; how a parent being available to their child/teen creates the environment to provide emotional support and healthy connections. All of that can be overwhelming with our busy schedules, but what about having a family snack?! As long as the family is sitting together and enjoying each other’s company and conversation, you can have the same impact. You can plan those throughout your week as your schedule allows.
There are literally thousands of recipes and ideas for pumpkin-flavored everything, but below is a simple idea many of us have thought about, but many have never tried ourselves: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. After you have the family fun of carving the pumpkins, you can use the seeds inside to create your own delicious snack!
- Seed the Pumpkin: Preheat the oven to 300 Degrees F. Using a spoon, scrape the pulp and seeds out of your pumpkin into a bowl.
- Clean the seeds: Separate the seeds from the stringy pulp; rinse the seeds in a colander under cold water; then shake dry. Don’t blot with paper towels; the seeds will stick.
- Dry the seeds: Spread the seeds in a single layer on a greased baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes to dry them out.
- Season the seeds: Add seasonings to your liking. Suggestions include either a pinch of salt, or cinnamon and sugar. (But not both!)
- Bake: Return to the oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 20 more minutes.
- Serve and Eat around the table as a family! Talk about your day or your favorite things about autumn!
For more healthy pumpkin ideas visit this website!
Nina Solomon, Development of Living Skills Instructor, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County