Pumpkin seeds are the flat, oval-shaped seeds of the pumpkin or squash, both types of seeds have nearly identical benefits. Pumpkin seeds are light green on the inside, but their hull is white. Most pumpkin seeds come with their shell or endosperm still attached, particularly when they are eaten after being roasted, the most common way of consuming them. They can, however, be shelled, and the inner germ can be eaten for a healthy snack with less work and chewing involved.
Pumpkins are traditionally associated with Central American, Mexican, and Native American cuisine, but the genus Cucurbita has other species of squash that have long been grown and cultivated across Europe and Russia, so pumpkin seeds can also be found in those areas of the world as a popular snack food. They are traditionally a seasonal snack, during the autumn when most squash and pumpkin varieties are fully grown. However, the popularity of pumpkin seeds has spurred companies to serve them dried like sunflower seeds throughout the year.
We know that pumpkin seeds have been a part of cultural cuisines since the time of the Aztecs, but it is very likely that they have been important far longer than that, considering that squash is frequently grouped as one of the first three agriculture products in ancient North American history. There must be something good about these seeds to have been around for thousands of years; let’s find out a bit more.