It's incredibly easy to make your own homemade Pumpkin Seed Butter! This healthy recipe contains only two ingredients: toasted pumpkin seeds and a bit of sea salt. It's a great nut-free spread for allergy sufferers, packed with nutrients, and is a beautiful vibrant green colour too.
I think one of the best kept secrets in the entire universe is how easy it is to make your own nut butters. And when you make your own, the world is your nut butter oyster.
Want to make homemade almond butter? You can do that! How about hazelnut butter? Walnut butter? Cashew butter? A blend? Whatever kind of butter your little butter-loving heart desires.
But also? Being in the butter scene doesn’t mean being bound to nuts. Today we’re making pumpkin seed butter and making all the other butters green with envy!
If you’ve never had pumpkin seed butter before than you are in for a treat, my friends. It’s got a rich, complex, minerally flavour in all the right ways, which is no surprise considering they’re rich in minerals like zinc, magnesium, and iron.
Pumpkin seeds also deliver healthy fats, antioxidant vitamin E, and a good amount of protein.
My three-year-old insists on having the “green peanut butter” spread on his toast or pancakes, and I totally get why. It looks funky and it’s incredibly delicious.
What do I need to make pumpkin seed butter?
Just two ingredients go into this deliciously smooth seed butter… you’ll need to grab some:
- Pumpkin seeds –-> betcha saw that one coming!
- Sea salt –-> juuuuust a smidge.
You can of course add flavour to it if you want, like this Cinnamon Almond Butter Recipe, but I have left mine plain and simple.
What equipment do I need to make pumpkin seed butter?
You need a food processor, and preferably one with a strong motor. I have this professional food processor which is a dang workhorse, and I definitely put it through its paces making this recipe!
You *can* make pumpkin seed butter in a high speed blender like a Vitamix if you use the tamper and scrape the sides often, but you’ll have a much, much easier time using a food processor.
How do you make pumpkin seed butter?
There are a total of two main steps for this recipe, toasting the pumpkin seeds, and blitzing them into butter in your food processor.
Toasting the seeds is totally optional, but the flavour is so incredibly delightful I urge you not to skip it. Toasting the pumpkin seeds will also help the pumpkin butter come together more quickly, as the oils will come out of the seeds much more readily.
Spread the seeds out on a baking sheet and toast ‘em in the oven for about 15 minutes. I prefer to follow my nose and pull them out when they start to smell nutty, but you’ll want to keep a close eye at around the 15 minute mark.
Then, after your toasted pumpkin seeds cool down a bit, transfer them to the bowl of your food processor and start blitzing!
I stopped my food processor every few minutes and snapped a picture so you can see what the stages of pumpkin seed butter look like.
You’ll note that it’s at first quite crumbly, and then as the oils in the pumpkin seeds start to come out it will form a ball.
It goes through first a hard ball stage – you may want to stop your food processor and break it up a couple of times – followed by a soft ball stage – note my finger print in there.
And then, magically, at around the 15 minute mark, the pumpkin seeds will yield into a soft, smooth pumpkin seed butter.
At this stage I season with a bit of salt and run the food processor for another minute or two just to finish it up.
At the end of the processing time, both your food processor and the pumpkin seed butter will be quite warm. This is normal – the machine has been working hard!
If your food processor is getting REALLY warm or your smelling a whole lot of that motor smell, you may want to stop the process and give it a rest. You can always start up again later!
It also means that when the pumpkin seed butter cools down it will be a bit firmer than it is now. If you prefer your nut and seed butters to be on the runny side (like that you could dip apple slices into or drizzle over porridge), you can always add 1-2 tablespoons of neutral flavoured oil, like almond oil, or even coconut oil if you like the flavour.
If you’re happy with a thicker, more spreadable butter, as is pictured here, then you’re good to go.
Can I use fresh pumpkin seeds from a pumpkin?
Fresh pumpkin seeds are delicious when toasted, but I don’t recommend using them to make pumpkin seed butter. Fresh pumpkin seeds still have their hull (the white part) around them, which are very fibrous and will make it much more difficult to break them down into butter.
Can I use a different kind of seed instead?
How long will pumpkin seed butter last?
You can store your pumpkin seed butter in your cupboard for a few weeks. If you don’t think you’ll go through it quickly, feel free to keep it in the fridge instead.
It’s not going to go back in the cupboard, but after a while the oils will go rancid and it won’t taste great.
How can I use pumpkin seed butter?
Smear it on toast.
Use it to make green peanut butter sandwiches.
Hey Nutrition Lady, are pumpkin seeds healthy?
Pumpkin seeds are attributed with all kinds of health benefits. They have anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties, along with being a rich source of zinc, magnesium, protein, and a good source of iron, phosphorous, and manganese.
Pumpkin seeds have very low instances of allergic reactions, so if you've got someone in your family who is sensitive to nuts, this pumpkin seed butter could be a good alternative to peanut butter.
If you live in a northern climate, like I do, peanuts probably don't grow very near by, but pumpkins do! Check the source of your seeds and opt for local if possible; China is one of the top producers of pumpkin seeds, and there are some very questionable agricultural and food safety practices coming out of that part of the world.
Other recipes you might enjoy:
Pumpkin Seed Butter
- 2 cups pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1-2 teaspoon neutral flavoured vegetable or nut oil if needed
- Pre-heat your oven to 300°F / 150°C.
- Spread the pumpkin seeds out on a baking sheet and toast for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow the seeds to cool slightly.
- Transfer the pumpkin seeds into the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse it a few times, then start running continuously. You'll need to stop and scrape the sides and bottom every once in a while.
- At around the 5 minute mark the seeds should have gone from crumbly into a bit of a paste.
- Keep running and scraping until it loosens up and becomes a smooth butter. Depending on your pumpkin seeds and your food processor, this should take about 15-20 minutes.
- Add the salt, 1 teaspoon at a time, and tasting between each addition.
- Scrape the pumpkin-seed butter into a clean jar.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only and are based on 20 one-tablespoon portions.
- Pumpkin seed butter can be stored at room temperature for 2 weeks, or in the fridge for about 2 months.
- See post notes regarding the potential for food processor over.heating.
This recipe was originally published November 12, 2013. It was retested, re-photographed, and most recently updated on October 16, 2019.
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