These are not your ordinary pumpkin seeds. They have a rich, deep flavor, they’re larger in size than typical pumpkin seeds, and contain a ton of health-promoting nutrients.
Austrian pumpkin seeds come from Styrian pumpkins and are unique because about 100 years ago, these seeds lost their wooden shell due to a mutation. Only a tiny silver-colored membrane protects the seed, making the entire seed edible. Surprisingly, the Styrian pumpkin itself is not used as a food item, but the seeds have been used for ages as a snack food. Once the seeds are harvested, the pumpkin pulp is discarded as fertilizer on the field. The oil from these seeds is known in Austria as "The Green Gold."
Austrian Pumpkin Seeds are Full of Nutrition
These seeds are prized because they’re significantly higher in nutrients than in any other variety. Between the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they almost sounds too good to be true.
A typical handful of Austrian pumpkin seeds (1/4 cup) contain 9 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber, which means they'll do a great job filling you up and satisfying your appetite.
They're a rich source of B-vitamins and also contain many different vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E and K, potassium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron, zinc, selenium, and copper.
Vegetarians and vegans may have a hard time getting enough plant-based iron and zinc in their diet, so Austrian pumpkin seeds would be a great addition to boost intake of both these minerals. Zinc supports a strong immune system and helps maintain prostate health. Studies show prostate enlargement may be slowed, stopped and even reversed.
Austrian pumpkin seeds supply essential fatty acids, including omega-3 fat and monounsaturated oleic acid which are the “good” fats abundant in the Mediterranean diet.
How to Enjoy Austrian Pumpkin Seeds
Austrian pumpkin seeds are excellent just eaten plain. Austrian pumpkin seeds can also easily be added to salads, pizza, cakes, homemade bread, biscuits, and fruit salad. Use them in a salad dressing combined with cilantro, garlic, olive oil and lime juice for a delicious Mexican flavor.
Balance is the Key
Including a variety of fats in your diet is what it comes down to. Adding pumpkin seeds, along with eating olive, coconut, and avocado oil gives your body a great balance, which is crucial for your health.
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods