pumpkinseed oil

Pumpkinseed oil is one of the deepest, darkest, earthiest flavors you can add to your cooking. Make sure you get the real Austrian (Styrian) stuff.

Roasted pumpkinseed oil is made from an Austrian pumpkin whose seeds have no hulls! The oil is a dark color, and is extracted by drying, crushing and mixing the seeds with water and salt to make them more digestible, then roasted at low temperature to evaporate the water. Once dried, the seeds are pressed to extract the oil. It takes five pounds of roasted seeds, or about 35 pumpkins to produce one liter of oil! High in mono-unsaturated fats with goodly amounts of vitamins E, B1, B6, A, C and the mineral zinc, pumpkinseeds and their oil are said to be effective in the treatment of prostate problems and help reduce cholesterol. The oil is sensitive to heat, so don’t cook with it. It’s fine to drizzle on after cooking.

Quinoa, as most of you are probably sick of hearing me say, is one of the three grains that’s just about a complete protein. It’s lovely, light and nutritious, and the fact it takes minutes to cook is a God-send. Lentils are another nutritional powerhouse. You can feed an army on a handful of lentils….

Serves 4-6

2½ C water 1 tsp sea salt
1 C yellow or multi-colored quinoa 1 tsp black pepper or grains of paradise
¼ C lentils (brown, green, or black) 1 C pumpkinseeds (I like roasted, salted)
½ C pumpkinseed oil ½ cup minced red onion
2 C broccoli florets 2 Tbsp ground cumin
2 C cubed pumpkin or butternut 1 tsp coriander

Using a pot with a tight-fitting cover, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and lentils, cover pot, lower heat and simmer 15 minutes. Remove pot from burner and let it sit, covered, another 15 minutes. You’ll see that the water has been absorbed and the quinoa has sprouted. Spoon mixture into a large mixing bowl.

At the same time that the quinoa and lentils are cooking, put 2 C water into a second pot. Bring water to a boil. Add broccoli florets and peeled cubed pumpkin. Cover pot, lower heat, and steam veggies for 5-10 minutes, depending upon how crunchy you like veggies. Drain and add with remaining ingredients to the warm or room-temp quinoa. Toss, taste, adjust seasoning. Eat! You’re getting great quality fiber, protein, and all those pumpkinseed and pumpkinseed oil protective qualities and benefits. Ooh la-la!