What are Pepitas? Benefits and Difference with Pumpkin Seeds

You might have heard a lot about pepita seeds recently, and if not, you must be living under a rock because the pepitas have become a trendy snack item lately.

Although it may seem like pepitas might be very fancy but if you’re wondering – what are pepitas – these are seeds of special kinds of pumpkin without a hull, and they also do not require shelling.

They may seem like a modern superfood, but these are very ancient. Pepitas were discovered in ancient Mexico because the ancient Mexicans did not leave any part of the food useless. They used to eat these seeds.

Pepita is a Spanish term which literally means little seeds of squash. These seeds are available in the market and are also an inexpensive alternative to pine seeds. These are very healthy and works great as a snack to boost up your energy level without giving you carbs.

what are pepitas

Are pepitas different from pumpkin seeds?

It has become a generalized concept that pepitas are pumpkin seeds, but there is a difference. Not all pumpkin seeds are pepitas, but all the pepitas are pumpkin seeds. Only some unique kinds of pumpkin seeds have the qualities to become a pepita.

Since not all the pumpkin seeds are shell-less, pepitas can only be extracted out of those pumpkin seeds, which are hulless and do not need to be shelled. Generally, pumpkins, which we see as jack-o-lanterns, have shelled seeds, and therefore, they cannot be pepitas. Some varieties of pumpkins that have shell-less seeds are Lady Godiva, Naked seeded pumpkin, Austria oil seed pumpkin, Styrian pumpkins, etc.

One thing is that if you want to get the pepitas out of the skin all by yourself, it is quite a difficult task. You can get them out by hammering or by putting them in boiling water, but be sure that the seeds are hulless or else they will crumble, and then it will be impossible to make them as pepitas.

Therefore, technically pepitas are pumpkin seeds, but not all pumpkin seeds can be said as pepitas, only those which have hulless seeds are pepitas. You can roast them and eat because only pepita seeds will hold the heat.

What nutrients do pepitas carry?

Pepitas are an excellent source for a healthy snack. This is also one of the reasons that they have become so much popular. People have become self-aware of their health and avoid munching on unhealthy, packed food. But pepitas can fulfill your snacking appetite, that too without giving you any carbs and also healthy nutrition will get inside of your body. Pepitas are much appreciated for their nutritional value.

  • Pepitas have a 0% of cholesterol level
  • The amount of fat that they carry is around 30%, which is just the right amount of fat which your snack requires to give you a boost of energy.
  • A total of 19 g of protein is present.
  • Talking about the vitamins, they are fulfilled with 1% of vitamin A.
  • Iron is around 18%. Since pepitas are pumpkin seeds and pumpkins are creepers; therefore, they have a plentiful amount of mineral nutrients.
  • About 10 milligrams of zinc is present in per 3.5 ounces of pepita seeds. They have rich varieties of antioxidants like pro-oxidant enzyme lipoxygenase, zinc, and manganese.
  • In about 32 grams of pepita seeds, 57% of phosphorus and 48% of copper can be found. They are a very rich source of fiber as well.

Are Pepitas good for you?

With so many nutrients present in pepita seeds, it is an undeniable fact that pepita seeds are great for your health. You can enjoy them in their raw form or even roast them if you want to. These seeds are very high in fiber. One cup of pepita seeds contains almost 12 grams of fiber.

Talking about other nutrients, they contain almost all the essential nutrients. Therefore, pepita seeds are a great source of health for your body and also mind. It is said that pepita seeds can help reduce anxiety and calm you down, giving you some positive energy. These seeds also help you to relax and fight insomnia. One great thing is that this way, all these essential parts of the pumpkin are used. Because pepita is such a great source of nutrients, it is not wasted. Thanks to commercialization and globalization, these pepita seeds are now being widely used, and everyone can gain the health benefits that it has.

Pepitas are also a very great treatment for hair loss. The magnesium in these seeds helps to keep you energetic, regulate blood pressure level, and blood sugar levels stable.

But one thing to keep in mind is that since these seeds are a very high source of fiber, overeating of these than what your body requires may get you to suffer from constipation, gas, and bloating. Therefore, a generous amount of pepita seeds is right for your health, and you should only eat as much as your body requires.

They have some amount of fat, and therefore, overeating quantity regularly can make you gain extra weight.

You should also not consume these seeds if you are allergic to it or anything present in it. If done in the right way, pepitas are very good for your body and mind.

Health Benefits of Pepitas

Since pepitas are such a great source of all the nutrients, they have many health benefits.

  • A very popular potential of pepita seeds is that these are effective in prostate problems because they can provide relief from benign prostatic hyperplasia.
  • They are high in antioxidants level, and antioxidants help in reducing inflammation and, therefore, will help in protecting against many diseases.
  • Studies have found that eating pumpkin seeds regularly may slow down the growth of lung, breast, stomach, and prostate cancer cells. They have a substance known as lignans, which help in preventing breast cancers as well.
  • The high level of magnesium in these seeds helps control blood pressure, heart-related diseases, bone problems, and also blood sugar related problems.
  • The fatty acids may help in keeping the heart healthy by increasing the generation of nitric oxide in the body.
  • The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids benefit the heart and the liver by decreasing the risk of thrombosis and other heart and liver-related diseases.
  • The sterols in the pepitas help reduce what we call as bad cholesterol.
  • Vitamin E in the pepitas are suitable for the immune system of the body and also maintains healthy blood vessels.
  • Pepita seeds work as a great snack, and therefore, you do not need to eat anything unhealthy for snacking, and eventually, it helps in maintaining a healthy weight.

All these health benefits make it a wholesome snack that you can munch on anytime and is also inexpensive as compared to other healthy snack options.

5 Delicious Pepita Recipes

Although eating roasted or even raw pepitas is a great option, but you can also try out the following recipes for a delightful moment.

Rosemary Roasted Pepitas

It is a straightforward recipe. All you need is pepita seeds, olive oil, garlic powder, rosemary, and salt or any other tastemaker, mix them all very well until they have a very thick consistency, and then put them in a pre-heated oven, spreading the paste in a baking pan. Once they are a bit golden brown, take them out and enjoy. You can also store them.

Pepita Pesto

All you will need to make this recipe are cilantro, olive oil, pepitas, of course, lime juice, some ginger garlic paste, and some tastemakers and blend them all. That is all you need to do to make this delicious and healthy recipe. Enjoy.

Coco Pepita

Take some pepita seeds, add vanilla extract, coconut sugar, some cinnamon powder, and coconut oil. Mix them all in a bowl. Spread the mixture on a baking pan and bake it and enjoy it.

Spiced Pepitas

Take some pepitas, some olive oil, some Spanish sweet smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix them well. Spread it on a baking tray and bake it. Then season them and serve them.

Sugar and Spice

Things that you will be needing are pepitas, sugar, frothy egg white, chili powder, cinnamon, salt, ground cumin, and cayenne pepper. Mix them all, bake them in a preheated oven, and enjoy it.

These were some recipes that you can cook without being a pro at cooking. Pepitas are very versatile and also very healthy. Add them in your regular diet for a healthy and wholesome lifestyle.

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