I know what you’re thinking…what the heck are pepitas???

Pepitas are pumpkin seeds! When growing up, my favorite part of carving pumpkins was eating the roasted seeds afterwards with my sisters. It wasn’t until I became a dietitian that I realized that those tasty, crunchy snacks were actually good for me!

¼ cup of pepitas contains…

52% Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of Magnesium: a mineral that’s crucial to the body’s function. Magnesium helps keep blood pressure normal, bones strong, and the heart rhythm steady.

57% RDI of Phosphorus: essential for many functions, such as filtering waste and repairing tissue and cells.

10% RDI of Niacin: also known as Vitamin B3, every part of your body needs it to function properly.

13 grams of unsaturated fats: the healthy fat that increases our HDL (“good” cholesterol) and decreases our HDL (“bad” cholesterol).

As tasty as pepitas are, they are (like all nuts and seeds) high in calories and fat.  Although it is considered “healthy” fat, it is still fat and 13 grams in just ¼ cup is a lot!  To put it in perspective, a person on a 2,000 calorie diet should limit their total fat intake to less than 55 grams per day.  Include seeds such as pepitas, but be cautious of portion size to not over-do it with fat.

Check out our RD Kitchen: Pepitas flyer for some creative ideas for using pumpkin seeds!