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Pepita butter, where have you been my entire life?
I’m still amazed that I only discovered this amazing food just a few short weeks ago.
In case you’re not sure what it is, pepita butter (also known as pumpkin seed butter) is a spread made by grinding whole pepitas into a paste.
We’ve made our own raw almond butter heaps of times, but it never occurred to me that you could do it with pepitas.
I’ve also know for ages that pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds) are REALLY good for you, but until now, I hadn’t found a way to eat very many.
The best I’d managed was to throw a handful into my homemade raw muesli, which didn’t amount to much, and I also found them quite hard work to chew.
(Probably good exercise for my jaw bones though!)
So I was intrigued when I spotted a jar of this wonder spread in my local organic greengrocers.
I didn’t know what to expect, but my greengrocer reassured me that it kind of tasted like peanut butter.
It’s really green
Doesn’t look anything like peanut butter though.
This picture doesn’t do it justice, but it’s green. Really green.
A bit like the colour of whole pepitas, funnily enough.
But if you can get past the colour, you will be rewarded with a fabulously nutty spread that actually does taste a lot like peanut butter, only better.
They’re really nutritious
Did you realise that pepitas are one of the best plant-food sources of iron?
They have around 15mg of iron per 100g, which is pretty impressive, and they’re also a fantastic source of zinc, magnesium and phosphorus.
They’re also rich in phyto-oestrogens, they may help to regulate insulin, and they contain 30% of really good-quality protein.
I was especially interested in their use as a mood regulator, thanks to their naturally high levels of tryptophan and glutamate.
And as cool as all of those benefits are, I’m just really excited by how GOOD pepita spread tastes. Seriously.
A nut-free spread
And of course, pumpkin seeds are not nuts!
So the possibilities for this amazingly delicious and nutritious spread are almost unlimited.
I’ve barely scratched the surface so far with ways to eat this.
To date I’ve had it in sandwiches, in a split banana, in a pitted medjool date (mmm, glue your mouth shut) and just straight off the spoon.
Just think about the recipes that you could use this in – sandwiches, snacks, bars, slices, cookies – anything that you currently use peanut butter in, basically.
And you could keep it completely raw, too.
(Can you tell that I’m excited?)
I always have an eye out for recipes that can be made nut-free for school lunches, so I’m pretty thrilled to have discovered this spread.
The first recipe I think I’m going to try it in is Angela Liddon’s Glo Bars, from her new Oh She Glows cookbook – they’re a quick and easy muesli snack bar, and her recipe is almost nut free, except for the nut butter.
So if I substitute pepita butter for the nut butter (and my kids like them) then I’d have the perfect snack for school.
Or they may end up being just for me, but I can work with that too.
And now to make our own pepita butter
Of course the next challenge will be to try making our own pepita butter, just because we can.
We’ve bought ourselves a big bag of pumpkin seeds, and now all we need is a spare moment (and some courage).
I’ll let you know how it goes.
So if you’re looking for a nut-free, incredibly nutritious spread to add to your raw, vegan, wholefood lifestyle, then I highly recommend you get your hands on some of this stuff (or try making your own).
You might just be pleasantly surprised.
- 9 Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds @ Mercola.com
- Pumpkin seeds @ World’s Healthiest Foods
- Pumpkin seeds nutrition facts @ nutrition-and-you.com
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