Ingredient of the Week: Pepitas

What is it?"Pepita" is the Mexican Spanish word for "pumpkin seed." Pepitas are sold either with the shell on or off and can be raw or toasted. They're very popular in Mexico - where their status as a popular snack originated from the Aztec culture.

Pumpkin seeds have a high percentage of manganese, magnesium, iron and protein, making them a healthy snack. They may even have anti-inflammatory properties when incorporated into a daily diet for people suffering from arthritis.

What is it used for? Mostly eaten as a snack, pepitas are roasted with seasonings with or without their hulls. Just as sunflower seeds or nuts, they can be added to salads, pastas or trail mixes. Ground pepitas are used in a type of mole called pipian.

Where can you buy it in Houston? Anywhere from the bulk section of the grocery store to the snack section of a convenience store.

Recipe: Pepita Salad: Courtesy of 101 Cookbooks

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