pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin Seeds or Pepitas

Pumpkin seeds, Pepitas in Spanish, are one of the things I used to stuff in my suitcase when visiting Mexico. That’s because they have a mellow, somewhat nutty, almost sweet, barely chewy and nutritious nature. They are also one of the most nutritious seeds (they are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants).

Pepitas are the seeds of different kinds of pumpkins! They can be seen all over Mexico from stands on the street to bags in the stores. They have been a part of Mexican cooking as long as…well…Mexican cooking and just as well as pumpkins, have been used in a myriad of ways over thousands of years.

Pumpkin seeds were prized by both the Aztecs and Mayans and it is said that the Mayans were the ones who began grinding them to make bases for sauces. In fact, the Yucatan Peninsula, home of the Mayas, has amongst its basic seasoning pastes (one being the famous achiote paste ) a lightly colored pumpkin seed paste that can already be bought in the markets.

Pumpkin seeds in Mexico are eaten unhulled or hulled, raw, toasted, salted, fried and spiced up as snacks. They are also used to make salsas, moles, soups and drinks. They are delightful sprinkled as a topping on many dishes as they add a subtle flavor and an extra healthy crunch.

Happily, I see them appear more and more in grocery stores here in the US.


10comments inPumpkin Seeds or Pepitas

  1. Iris Miller

    Oct 22

    I like them on fat free yogurt

    1. Pati

      Oct 27


  2. deejay

    Nov 08

    What I forgot to mention is: the pumpkin seeds are generally great to eat without shelling, but that does require some self-restraint, because if one eats too many, there will be ‘regrets’ in the too-much-fiber category. They can also be chopped up in a food processor/blender/’bullet’ appliance, and added to cookies and breads, if unsalted.

  3. deejay

    Nov 06

    I was given 8 pumpkins, and while I was not told the variety (friend of a friend thing), they most closely resemble Long Island Cheese variety—which is a squash-y pumpkin. I have two in the oven baking now; the other 6 would have to be cooked one at a time, and I guess they are ‘patient’ as far as keeping quality. As for the seeds, I am saving them, and considered sharing them at a Hispanic event…but because it seems 50% of people would be cracking them open vs. eating whole, that may be a bad idea…janitors nightmare. I suppose my family is capable of eating them all, over time…

    1. Pati

      Nov 08

      Hi Deejay, Thank you for sharing!!

  4. Pete

    May 29

    I am looking for a place to buy pepita seeds to plant and grow my own. Would you know of any place where I could buy some?



    1. Pati

      May 31

      Hi Pete, Thank you for your question! Maybe try your local garden store or plant nursery.

  5. martha salas

    Mar 05

    I’m looking to buy roasted pepitas (no salt) wholesale in bulk from Mexico do you have any leads.

  6. Angela

    Oct 18

    Makes me hungry for papadzul.

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