Pumpkin-spiced-everything season is officially upon us, and while you won't catch me sipping a Starbucks PSL now or ever (hellllo refined sugar and artificial flavoring), I am a huge fan of pumpkin. It's an undeniably festive sign + taste of fall, and is absolutely packed with nutrients. I'll be sharing some sweet + savory pumpkin recipes here all season long, and I'm kicking it off today with Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Seed Mylk.
Pumpkin seeds (sometimes called pepitas) are particularly nutritious, and an absolute staple in my daily diet. They're full of good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids for glowing skin, a healthy heart, optimal brain function, and anti-inflammatory support. Pumpkin seeds are also an excellent source of plant based protein, making them a super energizing snack choice.
The high content of tryptophan, an amino acid that our body converts into serotonin (the feel good hormone), promotes restful sleep and improved mood. Magnesium, which I lovingly refer to as the 'miracle mineral' for it's ability to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, improve mood, and treat insomnia, is another powerful nutrient found in abundance in pepitas.
Making your own nut/seed milk is one of those things that seems really daunting but I promise it's crazy easy. It's also healthier and way more delicious than store bought versions. I like to begin by soaking the seeds in water - the soaking process "activates" the seeds, making their nutrients more readily available. It also yields a creamier milk.
The recipe below can be used to make any variety of nut or seed milk, but the soaking time varies. Pumpkin seeds need a good 8 hours, so I usually allow them to soak overnight.
For a seasonal spin, I added a chai spice blend containing ground ginger, cinnamon, clove, and cardamom. Aside from adding tons of flavor, this spice blend soothes inflammation, boosts the metabolism, and nourishes the brain. I've been drinking this on it's own, blended in smoothies, simmered with stovetop oats, or in my morning matcha latte. It's rich, creamy, and nourishing on so many levels.
CHAI SPICED PUMPKIN SEED MYLK
Yields about 3 cups