IBS diet: Pumpkin seeds
I don’t want to be the person who’s always telling you what NOT to eat.
There are a ton of wonderful things out there that you can eat and I try to shine a light on these healing foods.
This series is all about the foods you CAN and should be enjoying!
Substituting pumpkin seeds for nuts
I was bummed that I couldn’t eat nuts on my healing diet. They are such an easy, crunchy, savory snack.
But the nicest thing about that deprivation was my discovery of RAW (unsalted, unroasted) pumpkin seeds to replace them. Pumpkin seeds are packed with healing nutrients and minerals. It’s a food I feel good about and makes me feel good.
I bought my pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) at the store but if you are a super duper DIY type, you can harvest them yourself from pumpkins.
What’s so special about pumpkin seeds?
First, they’re an amazing source of zinc, which helps build up and fortify the immune system. They are also packed with a high concentration of minerals.
A quarter cup (about 32 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 73 percent of your daily requirement of manganese, 48 percent magnesium (nervous system and muscle relaxant) and 53 percent tryptophan (the amino acid found in turkey that makes you feel relaxed and sleepy).
Pumpkin seeds are high in phosphorus, protein and iron. It’s a wonder seed. I also think it tastes wonderful.
How to incorporate pumpkin seeds into your diet:
Grind pumpkin seeds and use them instead of flour when dredging chicken or fish filets that are covered in egg. Then saute in a pan.
Throw into yogurt, a salad, a veggie saute or smoothie.
Toasted pumpkin seeds (recipe below). Great finger food.
Eat pumpkin seed butter with apples or pears. Replace your peanut or almond butter. I bought my pumpkin seed butter online, here.
My favorite pumpkin seed recipe
PUMPKIN SEED PESTO
In a small food processor combine: (play around with the proportions each time you make it to see if you like more cilantro, more oil or more pumpkin seeds).
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/2 cup (firmly packed) cilantro leaves and stems
- add spices like sea salt, cumin, cayenne, paprika or dulse
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped (I am a garlic freak so I add more)
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
TOASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS
Toss seeds with olive oil and spices like cumin, cayenne, high quality salt and/or smoked red pepper. You can also use curry spices.
Spread out on a single layer on a cookie sheet (use parchment paper instead of greasing the pan).
Bake in the oven a single layer on a cookie sheet the oven/toaster oven st 375 degrees for approx. 10 minutes (watch the seeds because baking time depends on size of the seeds)
Read more about the health benefits of pumpkin seeds here.