Friday, July 11, 2008

Pumpkin Seed Flatbread with Feta and Sweet Onions - A Delicious Treatment for Insomnia, Anxiety, and Fear of Public Speaking!

When I filmed this video recipe for a pumpkin seed flatbread, I thought I had just found a delicious and relatively healthy way for my viewers to enjoy raw pumpkin seeds. I had heard they were a very nutritious snack, and wanted to try them, instead of pinenuts, on various recipes. Little did I know, I was really inventing an alternative medicine treatment.

That's right, as I researched the health benefits of these pretty green seeds, I discovered that not only did they have lots of nutritional benefits, but also contained large amounts of tryptophan, yes, that tryptophan, the "turkey valium" that you read about every year. While that nap you take after the thanksgiving meal is probably more from the massive amount of starchy food, than the tryptophan, there is a definite sleep/relaxation connection, as it aids in the brain's production of serotonin.

The following is from the Whitby Mental Health Centre website:

"A new study released in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology suggests that a Functional Food made primarily of pumpkin seeds could be an efficacious treatment for anxiety disorders… The study, entitled “Protein-Source as an Efficacious Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder”, describes that gourd seeds contain the highest concentration of tryptophan, the same amino acid found in milk and turkey, but at much higher levels. "

"One single gram of pumpkin seed protein contains as much tryptophan as a full glass of milk. In this study, subjects suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder were significantly less anxious when asked to speak in front of others one hour after eating the Functional Food rich in tryptophan in comparison to placebo. This finding demonstrates that tryptophan does more than induce sleep. In high light conditions, it is quickly converted to serotonin, which significantly reduces daytime anxiety levels."

So, if you're all tense about that big presentation, forget popping pills - go with a few slices of this flatbread recipe! I also believe it treats hunger as well. Enjoy!

prepared pizza dough (enough for 1 large thin pizza)
1 large onion
2 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
black pepper
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds, or as much as you like
4 oz Greek feta
1/3 cup Parmesan


noble pig said...

Oh how delicious!

Peggy Manfredi said...

Yes, delicious is "the word!"

Yesterday, while visiting with Chef John to celebrate his birthday (which is actually today), he shared this treat with us, before we went to dinner. Until now, I didn't know they were so good for me, however, I had no trouble sleeping in the car, all the way home afterwards.

Happy Birthday John.

Renee said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN!!!! Have a wonderful weekend!


Chef John said...


Anonymous said...

This is the best flat bread I have ever had! Perfect timing to post the video. I was making spaghetti with your Beef Braciole, and it was the best dinner I've had in a while.

Anonymous said...


To the best brother in law and of course the greatest chef ever.
We hope you have a wonderful Birthday celebration! ENJOY!

Lots of love, Nina and Tom

Chef John said...

N&T - Thanks for the card, and B-day wishes! Love, J

jeff said...

So your birthday is July 12th?! Wow small world! Mine is no where near that!

Have an udderly Happy Birthday!


Chef John said...

thanks, its the 11th

Anonymous said...
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Connie said...

I will have to try that. Oh and Happy belated birthday to you. I love your blog and videos.

Anonymous said...

Looks & sounds delicious, will definitely be trying this. I was wondering if baking this destroys the beneficial "raw pumpkin seed" effect?

Chef John said...

probably some, but thats why so important to start with raw.

Zach said...

Happy Belated Birthday Chef!! It looks like you had a great birthday dinner!

May I ask what difference cooking at the bottom and the middle of the oven makes? Is it just less hot at the bottom? or has it got something to do with air circulation?

Chef John said...

the surface of the oven bottom is very hot and crisps the bottom of the crust.

Siew Eng said...

What kind of mains go well with this fabulous flatbread? Kebabs or meat stew?

Chef John said...

everything goes with this!

Siew Eng said...

That's good to that case, i'll eat it with beef rendang and peranakan chicken curry. Btw, these are some favourite dishes of southeast asian countries! :)

Anonymous said...

This is very good, yellow raisins were a nice addition if i do say so.

Anonymous said...

Happy b-day!

Anonymous said...

This is the best flatbread! Happy birthday.