Pumpkin seeds are used as a topping for salads and other dishes and are also added to muesli or granola. In addition, they are not only good as a small snack, they can also be used to make pumpkin seed oil.
General information about pumpkin:
For more general information about pumpkins, please see our ingredient pumpkin.
From Wikipedia: “Pumpkin seed, also known as pepita (from the Mexican Spanish: pepita de calabaza, "little seed of squash"), are the edible seeds of a pumpkin or certain other cultivars of squash. The seeds are typically rather flat and asymmetrically oval, and light green in color and may have a white outer hull. Some cultivars are hulless, and are grown only for their seed. The seeds are nutrient-rich, with especially high content of protein, dietary fiber and numerous micronutrients. The word can refer either to the hulled kernel or unhulled whole seed, and most commonly refers to the roasted end product.”
“Pumpkin seeds are a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine and are also roasted and served as a snack. Marinated and roasted, they are an autumn seasonal snack in the United States, as well as a commercially produced and distributed packaged snack, like sunflower seeds, available year-round. Pepitas are known by their Spanish name (usually shortened), and typically salted and sometimes spiced after roasting (and today also available as a packaged product), in Mexico and other Latin American countries, in the American Southwest, and in speciality and Mexican food stores. ...
As an ingredient in mole dishes, they are known in Spanish as pipián. A Mexican snack using pepitas in an artisan fashion is referred to as pepitoría. Lightly roasted, salted, unhulled pumpkin seeds are popular in Greece with the descriptive Italian name, passatempo ("pastime").
The pressed oil of the roasted seeds of a Cucurbita pepo subsp. pepo var. 'styriaca' is also used in Central and Eastern Europe as cuisine. An example of this is pumpkin seed oil.”
“In a 100 gram serving, the seeds are calorie-dense (574 kcal) and an excellent source ... of protein, dietary fiber, niacin, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. The seeds are a good source of ... riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, sodium and potassium.” For more information, see table “Nutritional Information.”
Making homemade pumpkin seeds:
Additional preparation options: You can also roast the pumpkin seeds in the oven. Simply place them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with herbs and then drizzle some oil on top. Pumpkin seeds are a great healthy snack.
“The earliest known evidence of the domestication of Cucurbita dates back 8,000–10,000 years ago, predating the domestication of other crops such as maize and common beans in the region by about 4,000 years. Changes in fruit shape and color indicate intentional breeding of C. pepo occurred by no later than 8,000 years ago. The process to develop the agricultural knowledge of crop domestication took place over 5,000–6,500 years in Mesoamerica. Squash was domesticated first, with maize second, followed by beans, all becoming part of the Three Sisters agricultural system.”