If the only image that pumpkin seeds conjure in your mind are those sticky remnants from the Halloween Jack o Lantern, then you are in for a real treat!
Capitalizing on the myriad nutritional benefits of nuts and seeds (magnesium, fiber, omega 3 fatty acids to name just a few), a number of small companies have been creating delectable versions of these protein packed powerhouses. Now more than ever, you can enjoy pumpkin seeds in convenient, economical and portion controlled servings…great for on the go, pre/post workout, school lunches, or as a salad or hot cereal topping.
I taste tested multiple brands and varieties (all on the name of science, of course). The clear cut winner: Harvest Roast (www.harvestroast.com). Here’s why…
Taste: We all know that choking down a fiber filled treat that resembles cardboard is about as much fun as a road trip in the dead of summer sans air conditioning. In other words, just because a food is technically “good for you” does not mean that consumers (read: you and I) will eat it. Healthy food can and should taste good. In my quest to find the best pumpkin seeds around, I stumbled upon some that were sub-par. And then to my delight, I discovered Harvest Roast and I immediately became a convert of their slow-roasted goodness. What I like most is that: 1) I can easily read, decipher, and comprehend the ingredient list 2) the list is SHORT 3) the flavor variety listed on the label actually tastes like what you’d expect (I know this sounds like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised…trust me. Harvest Roast flavors include Sea Salt, Garlic Herb, Honey Sesame, Chili Lime and Jalapeño. Try Sea Salt on a tossed salad with roasted almonds, wild salmon, blackberries and greens. Or toss a small handful of Honey Sesame on your morning oatmeal or into vanilla flavored Greek yogurt. The possibilities are limitless.
Nutrition: Harvest Roast grows its seeds on small family farms in Oregon and no fats or oils are added. Fresh herbs and spices are utilized to enhance the health benefits and the taste of the final product.
Convenience: Each of the five varieties of Harvest Roast pumpkin seeds are packaged in 56 gram pouches (each pouch contains two 1/4 cup servings). This makes for a snack that satisfies and can be easily slipped into a purse, backpack, lunch bag or bento box (or a large pocket!)
Go ahead and pick up a bag or two (or ten, if you’re like me) and enjoy nature’s simple treat!