Have you ever heard of pepitas? Chances are, if you’re reading this article, the answer is likely yes. But what exactly are they and how can they be used in recipes? From sweet to savory dishes and everything in between, pepitas can bring a flavorful crunch to all kinds of dishes. In this article, we will answer the question” what are pepitas” and show you how you can incorporate them into your cooking!
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What Are Pepitas?
Pepitas, also known as pumpkin seeds, are nutritious and tasty seeds that are found inside the shells of pumpkins. They are typically small and greenish-brown in color, and they have a slightly nutty flavor and a crunchy texture.
Pepitas can be used in many different ways in recipes. For example, they can be sprinkled on top of salads or soups to add some extra crunch.
In this article, we will delve into what pepitas are, their nutritional value, and how to incorporate them into your diet for optimal health benefits.
How to Prounce Pepitas?
Pepitas are the Spanish word for “little seeds of squash” and are pronounced “peh-pee-tahs” or “pay-pih-tahs,”. They are a common ingredient in Mexican dishes and Mexican Cuisine.
Pepitas vs Pumpkin Seeds
Many people use the terms “pepitas” and “pumpkin seeds” interchangeably, but they are slightly different.
While both pepitas and pumpkin seeds come from inside pumpkins, pepitas are hulled and don’t contain any of the stringy membranes found in pumpkin seeds.
Whether you’re looking for a crunchy topping for your favorite salad or want to bake up some sweet treats using pepitas as an ingredient, there are endless ways to enjoy this
What Do Pepitas Look Like?
Pepitas are also typically smaller than the regular pumpkin seed and have green seeds while pumpkin seeds tend to be larger and range from bright yellow to orange-red.
Pepitas Pumpkin Seeds Have No Shell
One of the main benefits of pepitas is that they are easy to eat since there is no need to remove the shells first.
Shell pumpkin seeds need to be removed before you can eat them, which can be a time-consuming and somewhat tedious task.
Pepitas Come From Oil Seed Pumpkins
However, with pepitas, all you have to do is rinse them off and enjoy – no prepping necessary!
Not all pumpkin seeds are the same and the pepita seed comes from oilseed pumpkins such as the Lady Godiva Pumpkin, Styrian Pumpkins, Austria Oil Seed Pumpkin, Gleisdorfer Naked Seeded Pumpkin, and the Kakai Hulless Pumpkinhem.
Oil seed pumpkins are also known as hull-less pumpkins and can be found in most grocery stores
Health Benefits of Pepitas
Pepitas are a nutrient-dense food, packed with essential vitamins and minerals that can benefit the body in various ways. Some key nutrients found in pepitas include:
Pepitas Have Protein
Pepitas are a good source of protein, with about 5 grams per serving. Protein is important for building and repairing tissues, and it can also help with weight management and muscle development.
Fiber in Pepitas
Pepitas are high in fiber, with about 2 grams per serving. Fiber helps to keep the digestive system healthy and can also lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar.
Pepitas Contain Healthy Fats
Pepitas are a good source of healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can help to reduce inflammation and improve heart health.
How Many Calories in Pepitas?
It is important to note that pepitas, like all seeds, are high in calories and should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
1/4 cup of roasted pepitas contains approximately 170 calories. When eaten in moderation, pepitas can be a nutritious and satisfying addition to the diet.
Are Pepitas Gluten Free?
Yes, pepitas are gluten-free. They taste great and are a good source of protein and fiber, making them an ideal choice for anyone looking to incorporate more healthy and nutritious foods into their diet.
Can You Eat Raw Pepitas?
Many people ask “Can you eat raw pepitas?” The answer is yes, just like sunflower seeds, pine nuts and the regular pumpkin seed, pepitas make a great addition to salads and can be eaten as a snack.
Uses of Pepitas
Pepitas can be used in a variety of ways in cooking and baking, making them a versatile and tasty addition to the diet. Some common ways to incorporate pepitas include:
Pepitas as a Snack
Pepitas can be eaten raw or roasted as a snack on their own or mixed with other raw seeds and nuts for a nutritious, on-the-go snack.
Green pepitas have a sweet flavor but you can roast them with garlic powder and olive oil for extra flavor and goodness.
Pepitas in Salads
Pepitas can be added to green salads for a crunchy, nutty flavor and added nutrition. They can also be used to top off-grain bowls or as a crunchy coating for proteins like chicken or tofu.
Pepitas in Breakfast Cereal
Pepitas can be added to breakfast cereals and granola for a sprinkle of crunch, flavor, and nutrition.
Baked Goods With Pepitas
Pepitas can also be added to delicious baked goods like muffins and cookies, giving your treats an extra dose of deliciousness!
How to Roast Pepitas?
Roasting pepitas is a simple and easy way to enhance their flavor and texture, making them a tasty and satisfying snack or an ingredient in various dishes.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to roast pepitas at home:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Rinse the pepitas under cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel. This will help to remove any dirt or debris and ensure that the pepitas roast evenly.
- Spread the pepitas out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Roast the pepitas in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until they are lightly golden and fragrant. It is important to keep a close eye on the pepitas as they roast, as they can burn easily.
- Once the pepitas are done roasting, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely before handling.
- Once cooled, the pepitas can be enjoyed as is, or they can be seasoned with salt or other spices for added flavor.
- They can also be stored in an airtight container for later use.
Can You Freeze Pepitas?
Yes, pepitas can be frozen for long-term storage. To freeze pepitas, simply place them in an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer until ready to use.
Pepitas can be used in a variety of ways in cooking and baking, making them a versatile and nutritious ingredient.
What Are Pepitas and Are They Healthy?
Pepitas, also known as pepita seeds or oil seed pumpkin seeds, are a popular and nutritious snack food that is high in healthy fats, protein, fiber, and other nutrients. They add great flavors to Mexican dishes, cereal and baked goods.
So if you’re looking for delicious and healthy snack food, give pepitas a try today!