Pumpkin seed butter is the new PB. Get on it. You will love it.
Aside from the high number of people with peanut allergies, peanuts can be inflammatory. For that reason, they also aren’t part of the paleo diet. What does that mean, and why should we care? Peanuts are part of the legume family, and they contain two things that can mess with your digestion and absorption of nutrients: phytic acid and lectins. In addition, they are often host to a sneaky mold called aflatoxins. More on that here.
Enter the humble pumpkin seed, or pepita. This mineral-rich powerhouse is the perfect base for a beautiful green spread or filling that’s safe for nut allergy sufferers and a great source of magnesium and zinc. Here are nine reasons why pumpkin seeds are the best.
I used to splurge on fancy nut and seed butters, which often contain less-than-healthy vegetable oils and table salt, until I discovered how freaking easy it is to make your own. You just need a good food processor and a little bit of patience.
OK, you may need more than a little patience. The first time I made this, I was convinced it would never work. I was processing and scraping for quite some time, afraid that I would burn out my motor and end up with a pile of sand, but do not fear. Pumpkin seed butter will arrive, creamy and delicious. A little bit of coconut oil near the end will help you cross the finish line. It will start out powdery, then become a paste, and ultimately transform into the final product. Here’s what the process looks like:
This recipe works for any nut or seed, but I’m a major fan of pumpkin seeds. They key is to buy them raw – not roasted in canola oil and/or coated in table salt. That way, you can add in the good stuff yourself, like some pink Himalayan salt, and feel confident there’s nothing nasty hidden in the jar.
Pumpkin seed butter will last for weeks at room temperature (unless you eat it all). It doesn’t need to be refrigerated; that will actually ruin the consistency and make it clumpy. Just keep it in your cupboard.
I use this PSB on and in everything. It’s the perfect nut-free replacement for baking. I also love it on pancakes, stuffed in dates, and on a paleo bread paired with some berry chia jam or raw honey. The pre-workout spoonful all on its own is pretty good, too.
If I’m ruining your love affair with good old fashioned peanut butter and you feel totally fine when you eat it, by all means keep the PB in your life. Either way, this is a supremely wonderful alternative if you want to switch things up (which you should).
The easiest pumpkin seed butter
- 2 cups pumpkin seeds raw
- 1 TB coconut oil
- ¼ tsp good salt I like Himalayan
- Toast pumpkin seeds in a large pan on the stove. Watch them closely, shaking every minute or two to ensure they get golden, but don’t burn. The toasting will help release the oils for supreme creaminess.
- Pour pumpkin seeds into a food processor with an S-blade.
- Start processing. It will turn into a meal first. You might think it will never become butter, but be patient.
- Every minute or two, scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and continue processing.
- Keep going.
- After 5-10 minutes, you’ll have a nice paste. It will start turning into a ball and pull the bits off the sides.
- At this point, add in your salt and coconut oil. Process until it gets creamy. If it needs a little extra oil, feel free to add more.
- That’s it! Put it in a jar and (try to) keep it in your cupboard.
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