You’ve probably heard a lot about pepita seeds recently, and if you haven’t, you’ve been living under a rock because pepitas have become a trendy snack item of late.
Pepitas seem impressive, but if you’re wondering – what are pepitas – these are seeds of a special kind of pumpkin without the hull, and they 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. Traditionally, they ate the seeds.
The Spanish word pepita literally translates as little squash seeds. They are available on the market and are also a cheaper alternative to pine seeds. You can eat these as a snack to boost your energy without getting any carbs.
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Are pepitas different from pumpkin seeds?
The generalized notion is that pepitas are pumpkin seeds, but the two are different. All pumpkin seeds are not pepitas, but all pepitas are pumpkin seeds. Furthermore, only some kinds of pumpkin seeds are suitable for becoming pepitas.
As some pumpkin seeds are not shell-less, pepitas can only be extracted from those hull-less seeds and do not require shelling. Generally, pumpkins, which we see as jack-o-lanterns, have shelled seeds, and therefore, they cannot be pepitas. Some pumpkins with shell-less seeds are Lady Godiva, Naked seeded pumpkin, Austria oil seed pumpkin, Styrian pumpkins, etc.
Getting the pepitas out is quite a challenge if you intend to do it by yourself. The seeds can be removed by hammering or putting them in boiling water, but ensure that the seeds are not hulless; otherwise, they will crumble, and then it will not be possible to prepare them into pepitas.
Hence, technically pepitas are pumpkin seeds, but not every pumpkin seed can be called a pepita. Only those seeds without hulls are pepitas. Because only pepita seeds can hold heat, you can roast and eat them.
What nutrients do pepitas carry?
Pepitas are a great healthy snack. Among the other reasons for their popularity, this is one. As people become more health-conscious, they avoid consuming unhealthy, packaged foods. However, pepitas will satisfy your snacking appetite, that too without giving you any carbs, and healthy nutrition will be absorbed into your body. As a result, pepitas are highly valued 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 that 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 filled 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 3.5 ounces of pepita seeds. They have wide varieties of antioxidants like pro-oxidant enzyme lipoxygenase, zinc, and manganese.
- In about 32 grams of pepita seeds, 57% of phosphorus and 48% copper can be found. Therefore, they are a very rich source of fiber as well.
Are Pepitas good for you?
Due to the numerous nutrients present in pepita seeds, they are undeniably beneficial for your health. You can enjoy them in their raw form or even roast them if you want to. These seeds are high in fiber, and one cup of pepita seeds contains almost 12 grams of fiber.
Pepitas contain almost all the essential nutrients. With these seeds, you’ll be calm and get some energy. Additionally, these seeds help you relax and fight insomnia. The pumpkin’s essential parts are used this way, which is one of its best qualities. The benefits of pepita are too great to waste. The benefits of pepita seeds have become widely known recently due to commercialization, and we can now all benefit from them.
Pepitas are effective in treating hair loss. In addition, magnesium in these seeds keeps you energetic, regulates blood pressure levels, and stabilizes blood sugar levels.
As these seeds contain a lot of fiber, eating too many of them can lead to constipation, gas, or bloating. Therefore, it is advisable to eat a generous amount of pepita seeds and avoid eating more than your body requires. If you eat too much of them, you will gain weight.
In addition, you should not consume these seeds if you are allergic to them. If consumed in the right quantities, pepitas provide great benefits to 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 popular potential of pepita seeds is that they are effective in prostate problems because they can provide relief from benign prostatic hyperplasia.
- They are high in antioxidants level, and antioxidants help reduce inflammation and help protect against many diseases.
- Studies have found that eating pumpkin seeds regularly may slow down lung, breast, stomach, and prostate cancer cells. They have a substance known as lignans, which help in preventing breast cancers as well.
- The high magnesium level in these seeds helps control blood pressure, heart-related diseases, bone problems, and blood sugar-related problems.
- The fatty acids may help keep the heart healthy by increasing 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 is suitable for the body’s immune system and 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 maintain a healthy weight.
These health benefits make it a wholesome snack that you can munch on anytime and inexpensive compared to other healthy snack options.
5 Delicious Pepita Recipes
Although eating roasted or even raw pepitas is a great option, you can also try out the following recipes for a delightful moment.
Rosemary Roasted Pepitas
It’s an easy recipe. All you need is pepita seeds, olive oil, garlic powder, rosemary, salt, or any other tastemaker. Mix them all well until they have a very thick consistency, and then bake the paste in a preheated oven. Once they have a bit of a golden color, take them out and enjoy. You can also store them.
This recipe requires cilantro, olive oil, pepitas, lime juice, ginger garlic paste, flavor makers, and lime juice. Make sure they’re blended nicely. That’s all it takes to make this delicious and healthy recipe. Enjoy!
Take some pepita seeds, add vanilla extract, coconut sugar, cinnamon powder, and coconut oil. Mix them all in a bowl. Spread the mixture on a baking pan and bake it and enjoy it.
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
You will need 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 you can make even if you aren’t a master chef. Healthy and versatile, pepitas make excellent snacks. For a wholesome lifestyle, include them in your regular diet.