What are pumpkin seeds?
Pumpkin seeds or pepita are the edible seeds of (surprisingly!) pumpkins or other squashes. They are flat and asymmetrically oval in shape with a whitish outer hull. They are available as either the hulled kernel or the unhulled whole seed. Usually, in the UK, we buy them as the hulled green kernel.
They are highly nutritious! When you’re carving your pumpkin next Halloween, save the seeds and roast them. They’re a joy and throwing them away really is a crime!
Pumpkin seeds can be eaten raw or cooked in both sweet and savoury recipes.
The easiest way to incorporate pumpkin seeds into your diet is to roast them. When you scoop them out of your pumpkin to make way for the tea light, wash them and clean away the strands of pumpkin flesh before laying them on a baking tray, adding a glug of olive oil, sprinkling sea salt, fennel seed and chilli flakes (or spices of your choice) over them and mixing well. Now bake them at 180C for ten minutes, allow to cool and enjoy.
You can sprinkle the seeds over soup or salad to add a bit of crunch, mix them into yoghurt and smoothies or include them in a homemade granola together with nuts and dried fruit.
Pumpkin seed butter is a lovely alternative to peanut butter. It’s easy to make. Just blend the seeds whole and raw in a food processor until smooth.