Pumpkin seeds, as well as pumpkins, are an indigenous species are found across North America, South America, and Central America. Pumpkin seeds are a favorite in Mexican cuisine. The Spanish word for pumpkin seeds is “pepita” which is consistent with its origin since the Spanish phrase “pepita de calabaza” means “little seed of squash.”
Native American tribes treasured pumpkin seeds for dietary and medicinal properties. Pumpkin seeds have been used as a dense source of nutrition at least as far back as the Aztec cultures of 1300-1500 AD. They were introduced to the Americas as well as the rest of the world through trade and exploration over many centuries.
Currently, China is the world leader in producing pumpkins and pumpkin seeds. Other major producers include India, Russia, the Ukraine, Mexico, and the United States. Illinois is the largest producer of pumpkins in the USA and is followed by California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New York. However, pumpkins are now grown commercially in virtually all U.S. states, and over 100,000 acres of U.S. farmland are planted with pumpkins.
Pumpkin seeds are the only types of seed that are alkaline-forming. Pumpkin seeds are also a complete, plant-based protein containing all the essential and non-essential amino acids, which serve as the building blocks of protein and are vital for muscle regeneration and the development of lean body tissue.
Facts and Health Benefits of Raw Pumpkin Seeds
- provides benefits for heart & liver health
- may help improve insulin regulation
- prevents calcium oxalate kidney stone formation
- rich in B-complex
- excellent source of plant-based omega-3s
- antimicrobial & anti-viral
- good source of Vitamin K
- good for prostate health
- good source of Vitamin E
- may reduce levels of LDL cholesterol
- has a diuretic effect
- 3.5 ounces provides 30 g of protein, 110% RDA of iron, 4987 mg of niacin (31% RDA), selenium (17% of RDA), zinc (71%)
- 1/4 cup contains nearly 1/2 of RDA for magnesium
- excellent source of tryptophan which is converted to GABA in the brain
- helps with sleep
- anti-inflammatory properties
- antioxidant properties
- anti-fungal & anti-parasitic properties
- good source of dietary fiber
Serving Ideas for Raw Pumpkin Seeds & Raw Pumpkin Seed Powder
- Add raw pumpkin seeds to organic sautéed vegetables.
- Add organic, raw pumpkin seed powder to your daily smoothie.
- Sprinkle raw pumpkin seeds on top of mixed green salads.
- Grind raw pumpkin seeds with fresh garlic, parsley and cilantro leaves. Mix with cold-pressed olive oil and fresh lemon juice for a tasty salad dressing.
- Add raw pumpkin seeds or raw pumpkin seed powder to your gluten-free oatmeal raisin cookie or granola recipe.
- When making organic veggie, turkey or beef burgers, add some raw pumpkin seed powder to the mixture.
Healthy Raw Pumpkin Seed Smoothie
Serving Size: 1
9 oz almond milk
1 medium banana
¾ Cup frozen organic mixed berries
1 handful organic spinach
2 Tbsp freshly ground flax seeds
2 Tbsp freshly ground pumpkin seeds
stevia or raw honey (if needed)
handful of ice from purified water
Combine ingredients in a high-powered blender. Blend until desired consistency. Enjoy!
Cinnamon & Cayenne Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe
4 1/2 Cups raw pumpkin seeds
2 Tablespoons raw coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Crystal Salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place raw pumpkin seeds (make sure they are dry) in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients.
Pour the spiced coconut oil over the pumpkin seeds in the large bowl mixing well to evenly coat all the seeds.
Spread the pumpkin seeds in an even layer on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake the pumpkin seeds, stirring and tossing occasionally, 20-30 minutes or until roasted.
Remove pumpkin seeds from oven and allow to cool. Serve.
Refrigerate remaining leftovers in an airtight container for no more than five days.
Options: Just about any of your favorite nuts and seeds can be used in this recipe.