As a perpetual worrier and a passionate nutrition enthusiast, I love pumpkin seeds for their fabulous anti-anxiety properties. This bountiful jar of bottle-green ‘butter’ is like my own personal and bespoke prescription without the price tag. However, also unlike your prescription (unless you’re 10 years old and drinking the dreamy sugary Calpol) this one has a vanilla-like, sweet and indescribable aroma and taste.
After my endless and compulsory regurgitation of the principle amino acids for my university biochemistry modules, I know that they are vital and guess what? Pumpkin seeds are a good source! They have a heap of both tryptophan and glutamate, two important amino acids in the body. While tryptophan is converted to serotonin to help sleep, glutamate is converted to GABA neurotransmitter in the brain that can allow us to deal with stress and anxiety. Therefore, my nights of endless worried sleep are over. If anxiety kicks in….take a large dreamy spoonful and be on your merry way. In addition, these pictures would without doubt be much more appreciated on my revision wall than the chemical structures currently residing….
- 200g pumpkin seeds
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp thick set honey
- 1 tsp sunflower oil
- Begin by heating a dry frying pan until hot and toast the seeds until they begin to pop and crackle (you will hear it) and the skins start to split. This helps release flavour and smell. The popping happens quickly so just get them going and then remove from the heat to prevent burning.
- Add to the bowl of a food processor and blitz. Keep the motor running continuously, stopping now and again to scrape the build up from around the sides. The whole process (I carelessly forgot to time it…) takes about 10 minutes so don’t worry if it doesn’t look very ‘buttery’ to start, just continue to process for about 10minutes until the mixture begins to release though lovely oils and it becomes like thick paste.
- As this happens, add the rest of the ingredients and continue until you have a texture you like. I like it thick so it can be spread on toast or oat cakes nice and smoothly.
- Jar and keep in the fridge, ready for those moments of anxiety, or for a wholesome boost!