How to cook with pumpkin seeds

sikil p'ak 

This fall, millions of pumpkins will be carved for Halloween or seasonal decorations. Most people will dispose of the seeds and strings they scrape out of the inside. That’s a shame, say Nick Kindelsperger and Joseph Hernandez of The Chicago Tribune, as they discuss several uses for often overlooked pumpkin seeds

If you don’t want to spend the time removing the white hulls, which don’t provide much flavor, you can usually find shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) in most supermarkets. They add crunch, and while raw seeds “have a subtle, grassy flavor”, once you toast them, the taste takes on nutty overtones. Pumpkins seeds work in both sweet and savory dishes. 

Kindelsperger and Hernandez note that the in Mexican state of Yucatan, pumpkin seeds are an integral part of the local cuisine. One of the most common dishes there is sikil p’aak, a dip made from pumpkins seeds, tomatoes and chilies. The EYB Library contains five online recipes for sikil p’ak, including the one from Saveur Magazine pictured above. Here are a few more pumpkin seed recipes to get you started:

Roasted squash & pearl barley salad with pumpkin seeds & dried cranberries from The Ginger & White Cookbook  by  Tonia George  and  Emma Scott  and  Nicholas Scott
Mexican chocolate-pumpkin seed cake (Pastel de chocolate y pepitas) from More Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless and Deann Groen Bayless 
Ginger roasted pumpkin & quinoa salad with mint, chilli & lime from My Darling Lemon Thyme by Emma Galloway
Amaranth crackers with cheddar and pepitas from Crackers & Dips by Ivy Manning 
Mexican chicken and pumpkin with pepita pesto from A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry  

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  • Cubangirl  on  October 26, 2016

    I love the combination of pepitas and almonds on my salads. Started as money saving when the price of pine nuts skyrocketed, but now I like them just as well. Costco has a pumpkin seed granola that is my favorite with homemade yogurt and blueberries.

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