November 29, 2011See on Map
I love snacking on pumpkin seeds, but I’m not a big fan of all the gunk that’s left over after you’ve chewed out all the good stuff. That’s why I was thrilled to sample the hulless pumpkin seeds grown by father-son team Pete and Tom Postelwait on their Nature’s Fresh Farm near Aurora, Oregon.
My friends Clark and Tami Bowen, the peanut wizards from CB’s Nuts, met Pete and Tom in September when they were visiting growers in the Eugene area. Pete and Tom were very excited with the success of their new crop of Styrian Hulless Pumpkin Seeds and the idea of partnering with CB’s Nuts to have them roast the seeds fresh and bring them to market.
It was a perfect match, because Clark and Tami have been roasting Golden Delicious Pumpkin Seeds for several years and were looking for a way to bring USA-grown hulless product to market based on requests from customers for a domestically grown hulless seed (or pepita). Currently almost 90 percent of pepitas that are on the market here are imported from China. The seeds for the Syrian Hulless were originally imported from Austria, where they are coveted for their amazing nutritional value. And because they don’t have a hull – just that dark nutty interior – there’s no extra pulp or fiber to chew.
This year, Pete and Tom harvested 27,000 pounds of them on their certified organic farm in Oregon and have been thrilled with the success and the response, so much so that they have already begun to plan for next year’s crop. CB’s Nuts bought about one ton of this year’s harvest that they will be roasting fresh for Whole Foods Market stores for a limited time – until they run out!
These pepitas are delicious and very versatile. They’re perfect for eating as is or in a wide variety of dishes, like this CB’s Nuts recipe for a Parsley Pepita Pesto.
Parsley Pepita Pesto
Recipe from CB’s Nuts
This is a super flavorful all-purpose garnish with a tapenade or pesto-like texture. Try tossing it into pasta, cooked rice or quinoa, over roasted chicken, vegetables or enjoy as garnish to your favorite soup.
Place pepitas along with all other ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you achieve a coarse mixture. This recipe can also be chopped by hand. Adjust ingredient portions to desired taste and texture. Makes 3/4 cup.