Pumpkin seeds are a tasty and nutritious addition to your diet. But can you eat the shells, too? Here’s how to eat pumpkin seeds and some must-try recipes.
When you think about pumpkin seeds, your mind probably conjures memories of carving pumpkins and saving seeds to roast later. While many people find roasted pumpkin seeds a delicious treat, they certainly aren’t for everyone.
Can You Eat Pumpkin Seed Shells?
Some people are unsure about how to eat pumpkin seeds because the fibrous outer shells can appear unedible. But pumpkin seed shells are perfectly edible — even if how enjoyable they are to eat is a matter of debate. In fact, whole roasted pumpkin seeds in their shells have more than double the fiber of their de-shelled counterparts.
If you aren’t a fan of the shells, you can still buy the green seeds to enjoy the nutritional benefits without the hard exterior. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium, iron, and vitamin E. You can also toss them in both sweet and savory dishes (and trail mix!) for a tasty crunch. These three recipes utilize the whole pumpkin seed — shells and all.
1. Pumpkin Spice Granola
A bowl of granola is a great way to start any day. And it’s a great way to get your daily protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Why not give your breakfast a seasonal touch? Here’s how to eat pumpkin seeds in pumpkin spice granola.
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1½ cups pecans, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds, shelled
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ cup organic coconut oil
- ⅓ cup organic maple syrup
- ¼ cup pumpkin purée
- Heat the oven to 350°F.
- Mix the oats, nuts, seeds, spice, and salt in a large bowl.
- Heat the coconut oil, maple syrup, and pumpkin purée in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the ingredients are combined, then remove from heat.
- Pour your mixture over the oats, and stir to coat.
- Spread the mixture on a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, stirring as necessary.
2. Pumpkin Seed Flour
Are you looking for a new way to eat pumpkin seeds? To give your baking a boost of protein, consider using pumpkin seed flour. You can find it in many health stores or organic food shops or make it yourself using shelled seeds.
The best way to make your own flour is to use a coffee grinder.
- Fill a coffee grinder about halfway with pumpkin seeds.
- Grind until you have a nice fluffy flour.
- Repeat until you have the right quantity for your recipe.
- Sift the flour at the end to ensure all lumps are gone.
Remember: pumpkin seed flour won’t always work as a substitute for regular all-purpose flour, so you’ll have to do some research. If you’re looking for a swap guaranteed to work, try making pancakes with your pumpkin seed flour!
3. Pumpkin Seed Butter
Did you know you can make an alternative to nut butter using pumpkin seeds? It’s incredibly easy and one of the tastiest ways to eat pumpkin seeds. Plus, it only requires one ingredient — though there are several optional extras you can add depending on your tastes. Here’s how to do it:
- 2 cups shelled pumpkin seeds
- sea salt
- maple syrup
- coconut oil
- Add pumpkin seeds to a food processor, and mix until smooth and spreadable — around 15 minutes. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl throughout the process.
- Add any optional ingredients and process until well incorporated.
Pumpkin seed butter will last about one month in the fridge. Store it in an airtight container.
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