So, I can’t take credit for this recipe. It’s one of my favorite foods that my Grandma Elsie would make when I was growing up. Oven Roasted Pepitas! I always remember Gram Elsie would have a little tupperware container of puffy-crispy Pepitas sitting on her counter to munch on. Of course it’s one of the first things I made for my hubby when we started dating and needless to say he was hooked, as have been everyone else that’s tried them! And luckily, they are easy to make and really good for you!!
What are Pepitas?
Pepitas are a hulled pumpkin seed kernel that is raw or roasted. Pepitas have liberal usage in Mexican cuisine in such dishes as mole, and are ground for use in green sauces. In the Southwest and Latin America, pepitas have been eaten since the time of the Aztecs or earlier for their special flavor and health benefits.
Are Pepitas Healthy?
Pepitas offer an abundance of nutrients including amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids, and a wealth of minerals such as calcium, potassium, niacin, and phosphorous. They are high in most of the B vitamins, and vitamins C, D, E, and K. They are rich in beta carotene that can be converted into vitamin A as needed by the body, and also rich in the eye protective carotenoid lutein.
Snacking on just one handful of pepitas, about one ounce, provides a whopping 9 grams of body building protein, along with manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, copper and zinc!
How to make my Gram Elsie’s Oven Roasted Pepitas:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread out your Raw Organic Pepitas (click HERE to buy) on a cookie sheet with sides (if it’s aluminum, line your pan with unbleached parchment paper so that the aluminum poison doesn’t leach into your food!) You can fit 1/2 to a full pound of pepitas in a shallow layer on a large cookie sheet.
Add about 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil (or other fat such as lard, tallow, ghee, butter, etc) and put them in the oven.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes – After a few minutes, when your coconut oil has melted – mix them around to evenly coat all the seed. Check your pepitas every 3-5 minutes, stirring them around frequently. They will brown, puff up and occasionally POP around like popcorn as they are puffing. Once they start getting brown and puffing up, check them every 2 minutes so they don’t burn. You want them to all be puffy and golden brown, but not burnt, err on the side of caution.
Take them out of the oven and spread out on a plate lined with several layers of paper towel. Sprinkle/toss with Finely Ground Sea Salt (Click HERE to buy) Allow to completely cool before packaging into an airtight container. Enjoy!