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Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)

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Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)

Pumpkin seeds come in many varieties. They are in season in the fall, as they come to us through squash, but you can buy them year round at grocery stores. Pepitas are a dark green, flat variety that goes by their Mexican name, and are easy to find nowadays in most grocery stores. In Mexico, toasted puffed up pepitas sprinkled with salt are a popular street food.

Pumpkin seeds are a magnificent source of zinc, which is an immunity booster. They contain cholesterol lowering phytosterols, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. Pumpkin seeds are also known for curing cases of worms in the intestinal tract.

When you buy pepitas they are raw and flat. You must roast them or toast them in a dry pan until they are puffed up and exude their nutty aroma. When you cook with squash, be sure to get the full benefit of the whole vegetable. Scoop out the seeds, rinse them of the inner fibers, and let them dry. Slowly roast them at a low temperature until they are crunchy.

On Kitchen Caravan we love adding pepitas to our recipes for added crunch and flavor. Try our Watercress Salad with Hibiscus for an introduction to these delightful and healthy seeds.

Fun Fact: 

The word "Pepita" means small seed. They can be found in most grocery stores either labeled as pepitas or as pumpkin seeds.