So first of all, Happy Halloween! One of my favorite things to do during this holiday is to carve pumpkins and along with that comes roasted pumpkin seeds. Yummy!!! So you may be asking why I’m posting this on a birthing blog and there in an excellent reason: iron. It is so important to get enough iron in life and especially during pregnancy because iron is needed to make red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body. During pregnancy, our bodies need 25-40% more blood so of course we need more iron. The recommended dose of iron during pregnancy is 27 mg per day. (for non-pregnant women it’s 18 mg per day.) Pumpkin seeds have about 8 mg of iron per cup and better yet, they also have some vitamin c which helps the iron get absorbed into our systems even better! If that weren’t enough, pumpkin seeds are also high in omega-3’s, antioxidants and other essential minerals.

pumpkin seeds and the importance of iron during pregnancy

Another important thing to note about iron is that babies are born with their iron stores for the first 5-6 months of life so if mom is anemic, baby has a higher chance of also being anemic. Iron in not readily passed though breast milk either. (side note -Another way to insure that your baby has an adequate amount of iron is to the delay the clamping of the umbilical cord until it has stopped pulsing or at least 5-10 minuets. Placenta encapsulation can also help replenish moms iron losses after the birth.)
Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks to roasting your own pumpkin seeds. First of all, the easiest way to clean you seeds is to soak them in a bowl of water. When you soak them, the seeds float the the top and all of the pumpkin junk sinks to the bottom. I follow the soak with a quick rinse in a strainer and you’re good to go. Once your seeds are clean you can use your imagination as to how you want to flavor them. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
– cinnamon sugar (a favorite in our house)
– hint of salt
– garlic and parmesan
– curry and salt
– cayenne and sugar
– taco
Or you could always do a pumpkin seed brittle, pumpkin muffins with a twist, or even make your own trail mix.
Once you pick your seasoning, roast them on 300 for 45 min. Chances are, your seeds won’t last the night but if they do, store them in a zipper bag or air tight container.

In love and light (and good food)

Stephanie