How to Crack Pumpkin Seeds

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Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are a nutritious snack. They are high in fiber and contain protein, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, zinc, iron and magnesium. Each nutty kernel is tucked into a shell that can be difficult to chew if it is not prepared in a manner that makes it crispy. As a result, you may want to shell your pumpkin seeds. It's a labor-intensive process, but there's a silver lining: seed-by-seed shelling slows down your snacking and prolongs the pleasure of eating this salty snack.

Things You'll Need

  • Nutcracker
  • Grasp a single pumpkin seed by the round end between your thumb and forefinger.

  • Hold it perpendicular to your teeth and bite it gently. The seam will pop open. If you don't want to use your teeth, use a nutcracker.

  • Remove the seed with your teeth or finger.

Tips & Warnings

  • Many people enjoy eating pumpkin seeds with the shells intact. The crispier the shell, the easier it is to chew.
  • Don't pound the seeds with a hammer; the shells don't crack open as easily when they're lying flat, and you risk smashing the kernel.
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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