Inside Scoop: If you’re looking for new and creative ways to use pumpkin seed snacks while you’re on-the-go, check out these 10 creative ways.
This post was submitted by Erin Mann, Registered Health and Nutrition Coach (The Nourished Fern), creator of Raising Tiny Healthy Humans, and owner of Erin's Elderberries.
Whole pumpkin seeds as a snack are a lost nutritional treasure that are making a huge comeback, and they definitely should be!
Pumpkin seeds have some serious health benefits:
- They are great for cardiovascular health due to their phytosterols and Omega 3’s.
- They provide relief from insomnia and anxiety due to their magnesium and tryptophan content.
- They reduce bone weakness and inflammation symptoms associated with osteoporosis thanks to the high levels of zinc, calcium, copper and other minerals.
- And, pumpkin seeds are high in antioxidants and other important nutrients.
Pumpkin seeds are also great at boosting metabolism, keeping you feeling full, and balancing blood sugars as the seeds themselves are made up of 30% protein! This really does make pumpkin seed snacks a great nutritional asset to everyone: adults, children and even our four-legged family members!
And while eating plain or dry-roasted pumpkin seeds taste truly amazing (especially with this brand I just came across – Skuta), I still like to get creative around the house for when I choose a high protein snack like pumpkin seeds.
Plus, when you have kids it’s best to keep things creative, so here are my top 10 creative ways to use pumpkin seed snacks while you’re on-the-go.
10 CREATIVE WAYS TO USE PUMPKIN SEEDS SNACKS WHEN YOU’RE ON-THE-GO
These pumpkin seed snack ideas aren’t just for busy parents, they’re for anyone who needs to keep their nutrition in line with their hectic and busy schedules!
Skuta Pumpkin Seeds use a hand selected breed of pumpkins that create a hull-less seed that’s large and sweet when roasted. One of the biggest reasons why I absolutely love this brand. They are crunchy, delicious and have a Chili Maple Jango flavor that makes taking this pumpkin seed snack on-the-go incredibly easy and yummy.
2. AS A TOPPING
On-the-go means needing something either pre-portioned by you, or purchased pre-portioned for ease of use. Yogurt, Skyr, or any other yogurt variation, and cottage cheese, definitely fit this description.
So, when you’re busy, grab a cup of your favorite creamy snack and a bag or portioned out pumpkin seeds to throw on top for a nice crunch, added flavor and a fantastic nutritional profile that will keep you feeling full.
Other topping locations: salads, soups, smoothie bowls, oatmeal, fudge, cookies and noodle bowls.
3. HOMEMADE TRAIL MIX
When I’m in the mood for some sweetness, crunch and a little salt, I reach for pre-made trail mix.
This is perfect for everyone because you can tailor your trail mix to what you like for a healthy alternative to a candy bar or chips! I personally like a mix of: almonds, dried cranberries, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate mini morsels.
For my friends that are allergic to nuts, I make them a mix of: pumpkin seeds, pretzel bites, dried banana slices, golden raisins, and sunflower seeds.
4. NO BAKE ENERGY BITES
This is one of my favorite snack uses for pumpkin seeds. Mainly because I feel as if I’m eating a ‘treat’, even though it’s a nourishin snack.
My kiddo loves energy bites as well, so that makes it an even better option for me! I do store these in the fridge after I make them, mainly because I make a large batch and portion them out into small reusable snack bags. That way, I don’t feel like I am prepping food all the time.
A quick No Bake Energy Bites recipe:
- 1 cup dry oatmeal
- 2/3 cup crushed pumpkin seeds
- 2/3 cup coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix it all together and let it sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes to stiffen. Then roll into small balls. Portion out into bags and leave in fridge for when you are running out the door!
5. SMOOTHIE ADD IN
I’m always looking to change up my smoothie routine while still making sure I am getting in a whack load of nutrients.
Personally, the only time I have a smoothie is when I have skipped a meal and am rushing out the door, so my brain is now programmed to want one in the car!
I grab a couple of pinches of pumpkin seeds and throw them in the blender. The fiber and Omega 3 content of the seeds turn any smoothie into a nutrition powerhouse. The earthy and salty flavor of the pumpkin seeds cut the tartness and make smoothies much easier to drink.
Use this Skin Glowing Avocado Smoothie as a base recipe for your delicious pumpkin seed-based snack.
6. SMALL JARRED SALAD
This can be a snack, OR it can also be an on-the-go meal, which is usually what it is for me.
I use wide mouth Mason Jars to layer salad ingredients, cap and then grab and go out the door! It fits easy into my purse, or cup holder of my car, and I don’t have to spend 15 minutes preparing one before I leave.
I simply layer ingredients from bottom-up, wet to dry. That way I can make these up to a week ahead and nothing gets soggy. So my dressing goes in first, usually followed by tomatoes, etc. topped with my delicious pumpkin seeds.
7. GREENLESS JARRED SALAD
Why not try pumpkin seed snacking in the form of a ‘greenless salad’.
You can really add in whatever you like but this is my favorite flavor combo:
Mix 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard, and put at the bottom. Then add chopped up cauliflower, Skuta pumpkin seeds, apples, walnuts and raisins. Shake up the jar when you take it out of the fridge to go somewhere, as it tastes best once it’s soaked in!
8. CHOCOLATE BARK
Chocolate, now this is my kind of go-to snack!
I have really tried to cut down on the amount of sweets my family consumes over the last couple of years, and to do that I’ve adopted a ‘swap this for that’ mentality.
So, instead of eating milk chocolate we eat dark chocolate, instead of peanuts in chocolate we eat almonds or pumpkin seeds or walnuts. We still satisfy that sweet tooth, but in a healthier way!
This can be used as an on-the-go sweet snack so you don’t stop and grab a candy bar to satisfy that craving. It’s super simple to make, and you can add anything in or on top you prefer.
Here’s a nutty chocolate bark recipe, simply replace baru seeds for pumpkin seeds.
When you make your own granola bars you get all the good nutrition you need without all the added junk and processing!
If you’re someone who really needs to watch their sugar intake, granola bars may not be for you as they usually contain a lot of honey and/or maple syrup in order to get the ingredients to stick together.
Again, you can make granola the way you like it (I use oats, honey, crushed up pumpkin seeds, crushed walnuts, almonds and raisins). You can play around with the ratios to know how you like them. Then, bake at 375F until it starts to brown, take it out and cut it while it is still warm!
Here is a great recipe to get you started.
10. DOG TREATS
Nope, not telling you to eat dog treats, just saying that humans aren’t the only animals on the planet that can benefit from pumpkin seed snacks.
Pumpkin seeds are great for dogs’ digestive and urinary tracts. With the fiber content, they are also good for weight management/loss for those pooches who have a little pooch!
The easiest thing to do is let your furry friend eat them plain! However, if you’re looking to treat your furry pal: use 1/2 cup peanut butter, a dash of cinnamon, and 3 Tbsp honey. Mix it all together, and then roll through about 2.5 cups of oats. Portion out so that when you are running out with the dog you can take some along!
There you have it, 10 creative ways to snack on pumpkin seeds. Do you have a favourite way to use pumpkin seeds that I’m missing here? Let me know below.
Disclaimer: Please remember that pumpkin seeds still present a choking hazard to little ones.
Erin Mann is a Registered Health and Nutrition Coach (The Nourished Fern), creator of Raising Tiny Healthy Humans, and owner of Erin's Elderberries, an Elderberry Syrup food company. Erin is a Mom of one amazingly little 3 year old, who, besides health, has a passion for all things outdoors and loves sharing those experiences with her family and friends. Prior to owning her own companies, Erin spent over 10 years working as an Intelligence Analyst for the Federal Government. Her passion and expertise for accurate and in depth research and writing found its way to the creation of Erin's blog. You can find her at TheNourishedFern.com.