How to Crack Pumpkin Seeds

Bake pumpkin seeds in oil and spices for a crunchy snack.
Bake pumpkin seeds in oil and spices for a crunchy snack. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

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.

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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.
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