Also known as pepitas, pumpkin seeds are one of my personal favorite seeds for punching up salads and sprinkling on stews. Look for bright green seeds that are plump and free of insect damage. A good shop will store them in the fridge, which you should also do. Although they will be edible after a couple months, they will no longer be at their peak freshness. Lightly toasting in a dry pan will puff the seeds up and bring out their amazing flavour.
- Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of zinc and contain more iron than liver by weight.
About Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are concentrated, high-energy foods that are always good to have on hand in your pantry. Nuts and seeds are typically the best sources of vitamin E and plant-based essential fatty acids.
Nuts and seeds are healthiest consumed after they have been soaked for some hours to improve their digestibility and increase their nutritional value. Raw, unsprouted nuts and seeds are difficult to digest.
It is best to buy nuts and seeds in the shell whenever possible, as this is their natural packaging. Stores this way they will keep for up to one year. To ensure quality, visit a shop you know has a high turnover to ensure freshness and taste the nuts before purchasing. Purchase organic whenever possible, as pesticides and toxins tend to accumulate in high fat food, such as nuts and seeds. Never buy roasted nuts and seeds, or those processed with oil, salt, sugar, or other additives. Roasted nuts and seeds contain rancid fats and are a source of harmful free radicals. Nuts and seeds should always be purchased raw and toasted at home if desired.
Store hulled nuts and seeds in glass containers in a dark, cool place – heat and light speed up oxidation. Hulled nuts will keep at room temperature for one to three months. The fridge is an idea place as it is both cold and dark; storing here will ensure freshness for up to six months. Do not store nuts in plastic.