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What is Pumpkin Seed Butter?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Pumpkin seed butter is a creamy spread made from ground pumpkin seeds. It can be used in a variety of recipes and as a snack, and it has a number of nutritional benefits. Some health food stores carry pumpkin seed butter next to their nut and seed butters, and it is also possible to make it at home, for people who have a blender or the patience to operate a mortar and pestle by hand. This butter has a mild, nutty flavor which can be intensified by using roasted pumpkin seeds.

Nut and seed butters are all made by grinding the nut or seed until a creamy paste develops. In some cases, a small amount of oil may be needed for lubrication, and the texture of the butter can be varied by grinding for greater or lesser amounts of time. Chunky pumpkin seed butter has pieces of pumpkin seed in it, adding some crunch and texture, while creamy pumpkin seed butter has a smooth and uniform texture.

A big advantage of seed butters is that they are usually hypoallergenic, because very few people are allergic to seeds. This makes them a great alternative to nut butters in a household with allergy concerns. For children going to school in facilities where nut butters have been banned due to worries about potential allergic episodes, pumpkin seed butter can be a stand-in for forbidden delicacies like peanut butter.

Pumpkin seeds are naturally high in protein, potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc, among other nutrients. These nutrients are also present in pumpkin seed butter, making it a good addition to the human diet. The fats in pumpkin seed butter are unsaturated or “good” fats which provide positive health benefits when eaten in moderation. While pumpkin seed butter is certainly rich and high in calories, it is definitely healthy, and its richness means that a little bit can go a long way, for people who are concerned about calorie consumption.

Raw pumpkin seed butter made with raw pumpkin seeds can be found in many health food stores along with toasted or roasted pumpkin seed butter. The seed butter will need to be refrigerated after opening to prevent it from going rancid, with sealed containers being stored in a cool, dry place and used within one year. Some raw pumpkin seed butters may need to be kept under refrigeration even when sealed, in which case their packaging should clearly indicate the need for refrigeration.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By bear78 — On Jul 20, 2011

@burcidi-- Ooh, that sounds really good! I have to try it on some toast with honey too.

I had this at my friend's get together last week. It was a saltier version with real pumpkin seed oil and so delicious! My friend made it into a dip and served with some tortilla chips.

As a vegan, I'm always looking for new flavors and natural foods to try. It feels like I needed some more protein in my diet, it's the perfect timing! Nice to know that it's rich in Omegas too.

I'm telling all my friends about this!

By burcidi — On Jul 20, 2011

I've been looking for an Omega 9 source and discovered pumpkin seed butter. I'm not much of a seed eater, but I like butters.

I have to say that I am addicted to this! It's a must have for breakfast. It's very tasty on top of hot toast, drizzled with some honey and cinnamon.

I think there are some vegetable and pasta recipes with pumpkin seed butter too. It would be interesting to have it in a dinner dish rather than breakfast.

By ddljohn — On Jul 19, 2011

What a great idea! My daughter's school is nut free as well but she loves nut butters. This is going to be a great alternative. I think I'm going to make it at home and make it crunchy.

Is there any way to change the color of pumpkin seed butter? I have had pumpkin seeds before, I used to include it in my trail mix. I think the butter will come out kind of greenish. Is there anything else I can put in the butter to change the color a little bit?

Can anyone share a pumpkin seed butter recipe?

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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