What Is A Pepita And How Do You Eat It?

A pepita is basically a pumpkin seed that does not have the shell. However, there is a difference. Think about pepitas as seeds that have been taken from certain types of pumpkins that do not need to be shelled. So yeah, you would be right to think that not all pumpkin seeds are pepitas, but all pepitas are pumpkin seeds. Fascinating stuff, huh?

Pepitas are often retrieved from Styrian pumpkins, which are also known as Oil Seed pumpkins. While it is easy to add pepitas instead of pumpkin seeds to certain dishes, you'll find that some recipes work only with pepitas. Additionally, pepitas are good for you health-wise and can offer a host of benefits in a quick and convenient manner. What's more, you can consume pepitas in several ways and even use them in many everyday recipes for a healthy twist.

Pepitas are good for you

Pepitas are definitely a superfood that can help you in more ways than one. Per Livestrong, consuming 1 ounce of pepitas can give you numerous health benefits. Pepitas are essentially high in minerals and nutrients like copper, magnesium, phosphorous, and manganese. They're also packed with antioxidants and can help your body fight against chronic illnesses and premature aging. What's more, researchers have also found a link between pepitas and better endurance, a definite plus for athletes who're looking to add superfoods to their diets. Pepitas may also help improve gut health, and they've even been linked to better sleep, according to Livestrong. That is a long list of benefits.

As far as nutritional information is concerned, you're looking at 170 calories, 15 grams of fat, 9 grams of protein, and 4 grams of carbs in an ounce of pepitas. These calories are more than worth it, though.

You can eat them in different ways

Pepitas don't have to be boring. If you're looking to add them to your diet, consider roasting them or making them a part of quinoa or rice dishes. You can also incorporate them into baked recipes for biscotti or coat fried chicken with pepitas. Is your mouth watering yet?

You can even add pepitas to granola if you wish or convert them into a sauce for one of your dishes. You can use a skillet to roast raw pepitas for a tasty snack. After a few minutes, when they're puffed up, you can garnish them with soy sauce for a fun twist. Of course, you can also use other seasoning options and vegetable oil based on your preferences. Other ideas include mixing pepitas into salads or soups. You can also use them instead of pine nuts in pesto. As you can see, there are scores of options at your disposal.

Pepitas have many fans

Pepitas are a popular snack and many enthusiasts vouch by it. A Reddit user wrote that they think it's a lovely snack that is affordable and yummy. "Won't be new information for many of you, but I saw them at the grocery store recently and made the purchase without really knowing what to expect ... highly recommend for anyone looking for new stuff to snack on," they wrote.

Even the Pioneer Woman is a fan! She wrote that pepitas are better than sunflower seeds because it's okay to keep the shells on and "you can just pop 'em in your mouth and eat 'em whole." She suggests experimenting with seasoning options like curry powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and olive oil. It's a healthy snack that you can turn to whenever you like. Also, as the Pioneer Woman recommends, make sure that you store your pepitas in a container if you're not finishing them on the same day.