My childhood eating habits were pretty unhealthy. I grew up eating processed, sugary foods like Nutella (a chocolate hazelnut butter that is loaded with sugar and bad oil).
No wonder I later developed digestive issues that I had to spend years fixing. That’s why these days I focus energy on creating much healthier versions of my childhood treats.
Pumpkin seeds are loaded with immune boosting zinc and also have antimicrobial properties like coconut. I ate a ton of pumpkin seeds while healing from IBS. I avoided nuts for a year to help fix my gut so pumpkin seeds were go to treats for that satisfying crunch.
Back then I made this pumpkin seed pesto with cilantro. Recently, I’ve moved on to making my own flavored pumpkin seed butter.
Mine is maple carob flavored with a hint of salt. But you can add your own favorite flavors or just make it plain.
I used to buy pumpkin seed butter but it’s hard to find and super expensive so why not make your own. All you need is a food processor or powerful blender.
1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons of light flavored oil ( I used this pumpkin seed oil
but you can also use coconut oil, avocado oil or almond oil)
1/4 cup of carob powder (you can substitute cocoa powder if you want a chocolate flavor instead)
2 tablespoons of maple syrup (more if you want it sweeter)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Throw pumpkin seeds, carob powder, salt, maple syrup and oil in the food processor and process for a few minutes.
Stop and scrape down the sides of the food processing bowl every minute or two until the pumpkin seeds start to make an oily butter.
Keep processing until the pumpkin seeds take on a nut butter consistency. If the pumpkin seed butter is too thick and you want to thin it, add a bit more oil a teaspoon at a time and process.
Spread these over Paleo crackers, use as a dip for apples or carrots or just eat with a spoon as a dessert.
Pumpkin seed milk
Here’s another fun experiment with pumpkin seed, make milk.
This is a unique tasting milk will require a bit of sweetener but it’s as easy to make as almond milk or cashew milk and you can make graham crackers with the leftover pulp. The graham crackers are out of this world.
1 cup of pumpkin seeds
3 cups of water
optional sweetener: 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or 5 drops of stevia
Soak pumpkin seeds overnight in a enough water to cover them.
Drain water and throw pumpkin seeds in a blender with 3 fresh cups of water. You can use 2 cups if you want the milk to be thicker and more concentrated.
You can also use coconut water instead of regular water for added sweetness or add optional sweetener.
Blend for a few minutes and then strain through a nut bag or clean sheer stocking. I drape my nut bag loosely over a bowl or jar and pour in all the contents of the blender.
Then lift the bag and let it drain, squeezing it to get the excess water out.
When all the liquid had been drained reserve the pulp to use for the graham cracker recipe below.
Pumpkin seed graham crackers
I ate these on New Years eve as an amazing based for fire roasted smores. An unforgettable experience.
1 cup of pumpkin seed pulp (if the volume is less than a cup add some almond or cashew flour to it to make a cup)
1/2 cup of starch, either potato starch, tapioca flour or arrowroot flour. They are interchangeable
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of melted butter or coconut oil
optional: 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl in any order. Mix until you get a dough. If it’s too wet add more starch or almond flour by the tablespoon and mix in. If it’s too dry add in more oil until a smooth dough forms.
Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap with a rolling pin (you can also use a 14 ounce tin can in a pinch, I have). Roll until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick.
Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into graham cracker sizes. you can cut them any size you like or cut it into smaller squares to make cereal.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, just estimate it.
Make sure the side are not a lot thinner than the middle as they will burn while the middle won’t cook through.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 11 minutes then turn off the oven and let the graham crackers stay in there for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the ends or tops brown.
*This recipe was adopted from the cracker recipe by Zenbelly.
It was absolutely delicious and one of my favorite things I’ve made. They make great travel snacks.