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Recipe of the Week

Halloween is fast approaching. It’s one of those “trigger times” for all of us “sugarholics.” On the heels of Halloween comes Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it’s time to rally to the occasion and get ready to keep all that weight off that you just worked so hard to lose.

I’ll be looking for recipes that will satisfy your sweet tooth while remaining healthy and lean. Recipes that you can bring to a party, so you have something to eat besides the mountains of garbage! This recipe isn’t candy corn, but I think you’ll agree, it’s pretty darn good. Not only is it yummy, it’s packed with health benefits!

Cinnamon Maple Pumpkin Seeds

An average slice of pizza is around 300 calories, this recipe is only about 140 calories per slice.
Serves 4 – Serving Size (2 slices) 280 calories
Unlimited Category 1 veggies, ½ grain, ¼ protein, ¼ dairy, ¼ oil

Ingredients

  • 1 c. of roasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 pinch of allspice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking pan with foil.  Spray the foil with non-stick spray.
In a bowl, combine the pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, salt and maple syrup and toss to coat.  Spread the nuts onto the baking pan and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Let the seeds cool before removing from pan and store in an air-tight container.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1/4 cup contains nearly half of your daily need for Magnesium. Magnesium is important for the pumping of your heart, bone and teeth health, keeping blood pressure in check and healthy bowel function. It can also eliminate chocolate cravings!
  • Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc which is important for healthy immune system, sleep, mood, your senses of taste and smell, eye and skin health, insulin regulation, and male sexual function and prostate health.
  • Pumpkin seeds, are one of the best sources of plant-based omega-3s . But it is still essential to get some of your omega-3 fats from animal sources, such as wild salmon and sardines.
  • Pumpkin seeds may help improve insulin regulation and help prevent complications from diabetes by decreasing oxidative stress.
  • Pumpkin seeds are rich natural phytoestrogens and studies suggest it may lead to a significant increase in good “HDL” cholesterol along with decreases in blood pressure, hot flashes, headaches, joint pains and other menopausal symptoms.
  • Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, which is needed for your melatonin and serotonin production to help promote a restful night’s sleep.
  • Pumpkin seeds have anti-inflammatory effects, helpful in treating arthritis.