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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Loaded with Tryptophan a Sleep Aide

Rose here....tonight is pumpkin carving night with my nephew Batboy.  He has been very creative with his vampire pumpkins. One even looks like his stepfather, Count Iman Insomniac.

The best part of carving pumpkins is roasting the pumpkin seeds.  Here is a recipe for roasting pumpkin seeds.  Did you know that pumpkins seeds are a sleep aide?  Thats right boils and ghoils....pumpkin seeds are loaded with Tryptophan.

Tryptophan has been available in health food stores as a dietary supplement. Many people found tryptophan to be a safe and reasonably effective sleep aid, probably due to its ability to increase brain levels of serotonin (a calming neurotransmitter when present in moderate levels) and/or melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone secreted by the pineal gland in response to darkness or low light levels).

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
From the recipe archive, for Halloween pumpkin carving.
Halloween time and a great way to make use of the pumpkin seeds is eat them, salted and toasted. Our preference is with the shells on - if they are toasted properly they are wonderfully crunchy and easy to eat.

It helps, if you are going to eat them with the shells on, that you use seeds from sugar pumpkins, somewhat smaller than the mega-sized carving pumpkins (not really pumpkins but large squash). The trick? Boil the seeds in salted water first, and then toast them in the oven.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds


  • One medium sized pumpkin
  • Salt
  • Olive oil


1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut open the pumpkin and use a strong metal spoon to scoop out the insides. Separate the seeds from the stringy core. Rinse the seeds.
2 In a small saucepan, add the seeds to water, about 2 cups of water to every half cup of seeds. Add a half tablespoon of salt for every cup of water (more if you like your seeds saltier). Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.
3 Spread about a tablespoon of olive oil over the bottom of a roasting pan. Spread the seeds out over the roasting pan, all in one layer. Bake on the top rack until the seeds begin to brown, 10-20 minutes. When browned to your satisfaction, remove from the oven and let the pan cool on a rack. Let the seeds cool all the way down before eating. Either crack to remove the inner seed (a lot of work and in my opinion, unnecessary) or eat whole.
Mexican Roasted Pumpkin Seed Treat
Wash off the seeds and dry then roast. Season the seeds with olive oil, salt, lime juice, and chipotle. The seeds were tossed in the oven for a hour at 250F and came out delicious. It will come as no surprise that these seeds are high in protein. No matter how you make them, they are extremely high in tryptophan (sleep aid) and have been proven to lower blood pressure.  People with lower blood pressure I much more tasty. 
Happy Halloween
Good Evening
Rose Sheepskill