Pumpkin Seeds – Interesting Facts

The seeds of the pumpkin are often overlooked, but they are a tasty treat and there is a lot that can be done with them. They can be eaten with or without the shells, roasted or dried, and used as a topping for a salad or a soup. They are an excellent replacement for crisps and other snacks because of all the beneficial vitamins and minerals they contain; such as vitamin E, beta-carotene, linoleic acid and zinc. The seeds have a high fat content, which is mostly made up of good unsaturated fats.

Food Facts Food Facts

Pumpkin Seeds

Class

cucurbita

Calories

605 kcal per 100 g

Nutrients

4.7g carbohydrate, 6g fibre, 49.1g fat, 32.6g protein per 100 g

Season

available year-round

Storage

store cool, dry and in a dark place like a cellar or pantry

Shelf life

one year

Pumpkin Seeds – Origin and Characteristics

Pumpkins are one of the oldest crops in the world and were first cultivated by Native Americans. After the discovery of North America, the pumpkin spread rapidly throughout the world and by the 16th century, was cultivated in many areas worldwide. In many Middle Eastern countries, the seeds are eaten as a snack or alongside tea, while in Austria the seeds are pressed into an oil and are a tasty ingredient in many sweet dishes.

A single pumpkin can contain up to 100 seeds. To remove the seeds, halve the pumpkin, then scoop out the seeds and wash them to get rid of any pumpkin pulp. The seeds are usually a dark brown colour and are surrounded by a thin, edible shell. In the supermarket you can find pumpkin seeds both with or without the shell and often roasted or salted options are also available. They can also be enjoyed in their natural form.

Pumpkin Seeds – Baking and Snacking

There is no need to buy extra pumpkin seeds if you’ve got a pumpkin at home, you can just roast your own seeds. Simply cut the pumpkin into two halves and remove the seeds with a big spoon or an ice cream scoop. To remove the pulp from the seeds, first scrub and then run them under water in a sieve. Finally, the pumpkin seeds can be dried – heat your oven to 200°C, spread the seeds on a baking tray and place them in the oven for 20 minutes, turning off the heat after 10 minutes.

Pumpkin seeds have a nutty taste and are wonderfully crunchy, making them the perfect addition to many dishes. Sprinkle some on a salad, over your morning muesli or in a soup for a crunchy alternative. For this, you can leave them raw or even roast the pumpkin seeds beforehand to release the nutty flavour. The seeds lend a distinctive taste to many varieties of bread and are an exciting contrast to the sweetness of cakes. Perhaps try the crunchy seeds coated in chocolate for a delicious snack.

These small seeds can also be transformed into a luxurious oil. The thick, dark green oil is made by pressing the roasted seeds. It has a slightly spicy and intensely nutty taste and is delicious in a salad dressing. It can also be used for cooking or baking but since 30 pumpkins (2.5 kilograms of seeds) are required to make just 1 litre of oil, it is too precious to lose its wonderful flavour through frying or roasting. 

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