What the Heck is a Pepita?

What the Heck is a Pepita?

Sep 15, 2016

What the Heck is a Pepita?

pepitas.jpg

Have you ever seen the word “pepitas” on a menu or ingredient list of a food and wondered just what the heck that is??  Well in short they are Pumpkin Seeds!!!

However, pepitas are not the same ol’ pumpkin seeds you find inside a Jack-O-Lantern or carving type of pumpkin. 

The main difference is Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin seeds are hard white seeds that aren’t as easy to chew compared to pepita seeds, which are greenish in color and have a thinner skin.

Pepitas come from shell-free or hull-less types of pumpkin such as Oilseed or Styrian varieties! 

Also pepitas that are ready-to-eat are MUCH easier than trying to roast your own pumpkin seeds because who really has time for that?

Here is a seasonal salad recipe that uses pepitas!!  Don’t like beets – No problem, swap them out for dried cranberries or pomegranate arils instead.

Chilean Orange and Beet Salad with Feta and Pumpkin Seeds

Chilean Orange & Beet & Feta salad.jpg

Preparation Time: 1 hour (if roasting beets yourself)      Number of Servings: 4

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • 3 beets
  • 2 fresh Chilean Navel oranges
  • 6 cups baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup pepitas

Orange-Mustard Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons juice from a freshly squeezed Chilean orange
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Wrap beets in aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven, unwrap, let cool and peel. Cut into wedges.

    a.      Alternatively you can save yourself about 40 minutes by purchasing canned beets that are already cooked or pre-cooked/peeled beets located in the fresh produce section!

  2. Peel oranges and section (reserve juice, squeezing more for the dressing if needed) and set aside.
  3. Whisk together orange juice, olive oil, mustard, crushed garlic, salt and pepper.
    Combine arugula, orange sections and beets in a large bowl. Toss salad with orange-mustard dressing.
  4. Sprinkle with feta and pepitas and serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories: 450   Protein: 11gm    Total Carbohydrates:  16gm    Fiber: 4gm   

Total Fat: 39gm    Cholesterol: 17mg    Sodium: 418mg

 Recipe created by Jill Melton MS, RD, www.jillcookshere.com for Chilean Fresh Fruit Association
 fruits and veggies more matters.png

 Melanie Kluzek, Registered Dietitian for County Market



Category: Recipes

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