Pepitas are some of the most versatile seeds that you can get on the market. They are small and green, but they can be used in so many recipes, whether it is sprinkled on a salad or crushed into a delicious pesto sauce.
However, if you live outside of their native Mexico, then it might be quite difficult to find these seeds anywhere. This is why it might be important to source some sort of alternative. This seed ultimately has a sweet and mild flavor, so you’ll want to find something that is similar.
So, what pepitas seed substitutes can you find? What recipes can you use them in? How much will you have to adjust your existing recipe to accommodate these new seeds? Well, we have all the lowdown on pepitas, so that you can find exactly what you need.
Pepitas – What Are They?
Pepitas are seeds that are popular in Latin American culture, often used in various dishes mainly baked goods like oatmeal bars, granola bars and cookies.
They have a very earthy texture with a nutty aftertaste, which is amazing to add a little depth to your food. They have a distinct sweetness which is great if you want to lower the sugar content of your dish.
However, you can add them to soups and stews to give them that little extra kick. You can also put them in hot sauce, which will again add a nutty texture that is utterly unique and full of nutritional elements. You can also add them to boiled rice or mashed potato.
But what if you cannot find this seed at your local whole foods market? Well, you might have to look for an alternative to this seed. Luckily, there are plenty that you can choose from, so take a look at our list of some of the best.
7 Best Pepitas Substitutes
1. Sunflower Seeds
This is a widely available seed that you can be sure will add a lot of texture and flavor to any dish that you happen to add to. You can roast these seeds or simply eat them raw.
They go great on a salad, mixed into a soup, or used as a garnish for meat.
These seeds have a very toasty flavor. If you are a vegan and you want to give a smokey texture to your salad or your substitute meat dish, then this is a great option.
You can buy them from practically any whole foods store, which is great if you are trying to make a meal in a hurry.
2. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are another that are widely available, so you won’t have trouble finding as many as you like for your recipe. This has a crunchy texture that you can be sure will elevate your dish to the next level with completely natural flavors.
You can add the exact same amount of pumpkin seeds as you would pepitas and still experience the same flavor. This seed has a more buttery texture than pepitas, so if you want your dish to have that creamy aftertaste, then sprinkle in a handful of pumpkin seeds.
3. Chia Seeds
This is another amazing seed, much smaller than pepitas, but it is full of goodness such as protein and omega 3 oils, both of which are amazing for brain and muscle health.
This will add a light crunch to whatever meal you decide to add it to.
These seeds are much more readily available than pepitas and they are far more affordable.
The best thing about chia seeds is that they have a much lower salt content, which is ideal if you are trying to find healthy alternatives for your food.
4. Hemp Seeds
This is a seed that is becoming very popular in health food stores and is widely available at most supermarkets that have a world foods or health food section. This is another very crunchy seed that you can put in a smoothie to give it that extra boost of omega 3 and protein.
This is also a great addition to cereal, giving you that nutty and slightly sweet taste that you would usually only get from refined sugar. You can also add this one to desserts, counterpointing the creamy flavor of yogurt or ice cream with the earthy texture of nuts.
5. Flax Seeds
Now we have a super small seed that is usually found as the main ingredient in a lot of healthy cereals. These are crunchy and very flavorful, perfect if you want to put some earthiness into your salad or soup. This makes a great garnish for chicken or cheese also.
This seed has a very mild flavor and is rich in omega 3, which is great for joint and brain health. This seed is also proven to reduce the risk of diabetes and will help aid digestion.
There is a lot of fiber in flax seed and it will add that extra level of crunch.
6. Pine Nuts
Now we have a nut that is not only extremely tasty but is used as a key ingredient in many different dishes, the main one being pesto. These nuts provide a certain taste and are very creamy and nutty, which is great for adding texture to salads.
You can use this as a garnish on hummus, giving it a crunch that it does not have of its own. These nuts are very healthy, with plenty of good fats and oils that will keep your body in great physical shape.
These nuts should be an essential part of any diet, especially if you are vegan.
This next nut might not have the same shape as pepitas, but they do have a very similar nutty texture. Walnuts are often used as a garnish in many different types of dishes, usually in salads or something to add to a plain cheese dish.
Walnuts are very rich in antioxidants, which is great if you are looking for properties that will help you fight off disease. This will not only help you reduce gut inflammation, but it will also lessen the tension in your joints and give you much-needed fiber for your diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pepitas are found in hull-less pumpkins, which is what marks them out as different from pumpkin seeds themselves. They can be dried out and eaten raw or you can roast them to get an intense smoky flavor.
Pepitas can be enjoyed in many ways. You can mix them in with cereal to create trail mixes or you can bake them into bread for that super nutty texture. You can also grind them up to put them in salsa, making them very earthy and rich.
Take a few ingredients such as garlic powder, olive oil, black pepper and salt and mix them in with your pepitas. Arrange them into a single layer on a baking tray and roast them in the oven at around 300 degrees.
We hope that our guide to pepitas substitutes has helped you to find the right ones for your needs.
7 Best Pepitas SubstitutesCourse: Substitutes
- Decide on what substitute you need
- Pick a substitute from the list above
- Read what you need to substitute with
- Create the recipe and enjoy
- Delicata Squash Substitutes – The 6 Best Alternatives - May 4, 2023
- 6 Best English Mustard Substitutes - May 4, 2023
- The 6 Best Substitutes For Bulgogi Sauce - May 4, 2023