Pumpkin Seed Butter, or pepita butter, is as healthy as it is delicious! You can use either raw or roasted pumpkin seeds to make this nut-free and better-than-peanut-butter pumpkin seed butter!
What's the best thing since sliced bread? This amazing pepita butter to spread on it!!
This fantastic spread is based on those wonderful pumpkin seeds that my family absolutely loves roasting each year during Halloween season! It's been several years now that I have been buying the shelled pepitas for salad fixings, and I have come to really enjoy their crunchy, nutty flavor!
This recipe comes from my love of the pepitas themselves. It was a natural progression and this has become my go-to peanut butter replacement, my favorite dip for apples, and my healthiest snack ever when stuffed into celery stalks. Yum!
🤔 What Is Pumpkin Seed Butter?
Pumpkin seed butter, also called pepita butter, is the creamy butter made from shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas, the green seed inside the pumpkin seed after removing the hull). The nut-free butter can be made using either raw or roasted pepitas and may or may not include additional oil or salt. That's up to you!
Pumpkin seed butter is highly nutritious, and the chance of allergies to pepitas is very low. Health benefits aside, this pepita butter is hands down my favorite above all peanut butter, almond butter, etc varieties. I could eat this every day!
What Does Pumpkin Seed Butter Taste Like?
The little olive green pepitas that you love to snack on, or top salads with, make the best pumpkin seed butter. It tastes just those wonderful pepitas but in a creamy, spreadable texture.
My husband argues that it tastes like a good quality natural peanut butter! 🙂
Grab your food processor, Nutribullet, or Vitamix to blend the perfect pumpkin seed butter. You will need the following ingredients:
- Pumpkin Seeds - Raw or roasted pumpkin seeds make a tasty butter spread! The pumpkin seeds can be used directly from any homegrown or store-bought pumpkin.
Or you can use commercially roasted pumpkin seeds which makes this pepita butter a super-fast recipe!
- Oil - Use your favorite oil if you'd like a smooth, spreadable pumpkin seed butter. I like to use either coconut oil or almond oil, but MCT, avocado oil, and hemp oil are also a wonderful addition.
The use of oil in this recipe makes the pepita butter easy to dip apple slices into or drizzle over pancakes.
- Salt - This is completely optional, but I do like a pinch of salt in my own pumpkin seed butter.
Packaged roasted pepitas are usually salty enough on their own, so I would suggest tasting and adjusting your salt amount after processing your pumpkin seed butter.
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
Whether you are starting out with a package of store-bought pepitas, or in the process of carving a pumpkin, the creamy goodness of this pepita butter is worth every bit of effort! The actual processing portion, once you have your pumpkin seeds shelled, takes just a few minutes!
If you are starting with seeds from a carved pumpkin, you will need to follow the steps below to remove the outer hull from the pumpkin seeds.
How To Shell Pumpkin Seeds
The easiest way that I have found for shelling my pumpkin seeds is to boil the seeds. There are a few steps to make the process pretty quick and to save you removing the pumpkin seed hulls individually, by hand.
Here are my steps to make short work of pumpkin seed shelling:
- Clean. Remove the pumpkin seeds and clean as much of the pulp from the seeds as possible.
- Rinse the seeds. Place the seeds under cool tap water in a fine mesh sieve to clean them a bit more.
- Dry. Lay out the pumpkin seeds on a flat working surface or a large rimmed baking sheet and allow the seeds to dry.
- Crack the hulls. Once the seeds are dried, use a rolling pin over the tops of the seeds to begin cracking the hulls.
- Heat water to boiling. Bring a pot large enough to hold water and your shells (or do this step in batches) to a low boil.
- Boil the pumpkin seeds. Add the pumpkin seeds and boil for about 5 minutes, or until the majority of the shells have fallen off. This step goes faster if your pot isn't overcrowded. A crowded pot of seeds can take up to 8-10 minutes for the shells to break away. *The shorter the cooking time on your pumpkin seeds, the better. The less cooked they are, the more nutritional content that your pepitas will retain.
- Strain and dry. Strain the boiled pumpkin seeds through a sieve and transfer to a paper towel-lined working surface or rimmed baking sheet to dry.
After the seeds have dried, you can remove any remaining shells or debris and either enjoy your pumpkin seeds raw or move on to roasting them!
Pumpkin seeds can also be left out to air dry, but it takes a minimum of a month for them to be properly dried. Roasting the pumpkin seeds is my next step when I do have fresh pumpkin seeds to enjoy!
How To Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Homemade roasted pumpkin seeds (with or without the shell) are a delightful treat! If you will not be using raw pumpkin seeds for the pepita butter, make sure to roast a large batch of seeds as they always seem to disappear far too fast!
To roast your pumpkin seeds follow these easy steps:
- Preheat. Warm your oven to 325ºF (162ºC) and spread the cleaned seeds on a baking sheet.
- Toss with oil. Drizzle one to two teaspoons of coconut oil (or your favorite oil, flavorless oils are best) and toss the seeds with oil on the baking sheet. Continue until the seeds are well coated with oil, then spread out into an even layer on the baking sheet.
- Roast until golden. Roast the pumpkin seeds for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring the seeds occasionally or at least at the halfway point in the cooking time. Once the seeds are lightly golden, remove them from the oven and allow to cool. *A delightfully nutty smell will be coming from the pumpkin seeds when they are perfectly roasted.
Make the Pumpkin Seed Butter
Now that you have either your raw, shelled pumpkin seeds or roasted pepitas ready, follow these steps to make the pumpkin seed butter:
- Add ingredients. Combine your pumpkin seeds, oil, and salt in the bowl of a food processor (or Nutribullet, or Vitamix).
- Process the seeds. Begin with pulsing the pumpkin seeds a few times in the food processor, then start on high setting for about a minute.
- Scrape and repeat. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and return to the high setting for another minute. Repeat as needed until the pumpkin seed oils really come together and break down into a creamy butter consistency. *My food processor only takes about 5 minutes, but I know that it can take up to 15 minutes to break down the pumpkin seeds into a perfectly spreadable butter.
That's it! Now you have some amazing pumpkin seed butter to use in a variety of ways (just like you would any other nut butter)! Enjoy!
Store your pumpkin seed butter in an airtight container and keep it in a pantry cabinet for about 2 weeks. If you will need to store your pepita butter longer, keep it refrigerated so that the oil doesn't go rancid.
When refrigerated, your homemade seed butter will last up to 2 months.
Here are a few of my favorite easy ways to use pumpkin seed butter. Spread the pepita butter on a slice of toast, dip apple slices in it, fill celery for a quick snack, add it to smoothies, or drizzle your breakfast pancakes with the pumpkin seed butter.
Basically, any way that you would usually use peanut butter or almond butter! You will get wonderful results when using your pepita butter in baking and cooking, just like you would with their nut-based counterparts.
Yes! Pumpkin seed butter, aka pepita butter, is completely keto-friendly and a great way to balance your nutritional needs while dieting.
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Pumpkin Seed Butter
- 8 oz pepitas (see notes for shelling and roasting if using whole pumpkin seeds)
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- If you are not using roasted pepitas, you will need to shell and roast the pumpkin seeds.
- Combine ingredients in the bowl of your food processor (or Nutribullet, or Vitamix).
- Pulse the food processor a few times, then set to high for about a minute.
- Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the food processor bowl, then return to the high setting for another minute or two.
- Scrape the sides down again as needed, and continue to process the pumpkin seeds until the oils begin to work into the butter.
- Once you have reached your desired spreadable consistency, remove from the food processor and transfer to an airtight container for storage.
Storage of Your Pepita ButterStore your pumpkin seed butter in an airtight container and keep it in a pantry cabinet for about 2 weeks. If you will need to store your pepita butter longer, keep it refrigerated so that the oil doesn't go rancid. When refrigerated, your homemade seed butter will last up to 2 months.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!