Pumpkin seed butter is a creamy spread made from ground pumpkin seeds. It can be used in a variety of recipes and as a snack, and it has a number of nutritional benefits. Some health food stores carry pumpkin seed butter next to their nut and seed butters, and it is also possible to make it at home, for people who have a blender or the patience to operate a mortar and pestle by hand. This butter has a mild, nutty flavor which can be intensified by using roasted pumpkin seeds.
Nut and seed butters are all made by grinding the nut or seed until a creamy paste develops. In some cases, a small amount of oil may be needed for lubrication, and the texture of the butter can be varied by grinding for greater or lesser amounts of time. Chunky pumpkin seed butter has pieces of pumpkin seed in it, adding some crunch and texture, while creamy pumpkin seed butter has a smooth and uniform texture.
A big advantage of seed butters is that they are usually hypoallergenic, because very few people are allergic to seeds. This makes them a great alternative to nut butters in a household with allergy concerns. For children going to school in facilities where nut butters have been banned due to worries about potential allergic episodes, pumpkin seed butter can be a stand-in for forbidden delicacies like peanut butter.
Pumpkin seeds are naturally high in protein, potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc, among other nutrients. These nutrients are also present in pumpkin seed butter, making it a good addition to the human diet. The fats in pumpkin seed butter are unsaturated or “good” fats which provide positive health benefits when eaten in moderation. While pumpkin seed butter is certainly rich and high in calories, it is definitely healthy, and its richness means that a little bit can go a long way, for people who are concerned about calorie consumption.
Raw pumpkin seed butter made with raw pumpkin seeds can be found in many health food stores along with toasted or roasted pumpkin seed butter. The seed butter will need to be refrigerated after opening to prevent it from going rancid, with sealed containers being stored in a cool, dry place and used within one year. Some raw pumpkin seed butters may need to be kept under refrigeration even when sealed, in which case their packaging should clearly indicate the need for refrigeration.