Here is everything you need to know on how to make your own pumpkin seed butter from scratch, health benefits, storage tips, how to use it and how to flavor it! Makes for a great alternative to store-bought nut-free butters that's free of added sugar and preservatives. Perfect simply on toasts or to use in nut-free baking!
We LOVE pumpkin seed butter! I started to use this nut-free butter in my kids's lunch boxes when they entered pre-school, but now we simply use it all the time in the house, it is so good! So, I thought I should make my own butter all from scratch and it worked out so well.
And I promise, it is easier to make than it seems! All you will need is raw whole pumpkin seeds, that's all. They first need to be roasted in the oven to enhance their flavor but then, simply transform them into a silky butter consistency using a food processor.
But more than being allergen-free and safe for schools, pumpkin seed butter also is packed with valuable nutrients such as healthy fats, magnesium and zinc. It is a great addition to a healthy whole food plant-based lifestyle to help you stay full longer and keep you energized!
Homemade pumpkin seed butter also has a rich and thick texture and beautiful smooth flavor that we cannot get enough of. We actually prefer pumpkin seed butter to sunflower seed butter (sun butter) for nut-free jam sandwiches, which we often make for our kids's lunches at school.
Pumpkin seed butter is also very versatile for everyday cooking. You can add it to your overnight oats breakfast jars, swap any nut butters for this pumpkin seed butter in healthy baking, and is a good base for sauces and dressings. Even just spreading it on toast with some chia jam over can make for a fun breakfast that's very nourishing.
Hope you give this recipe a try! ❤️
Why making your own pumpkin seed butter
- Super healthy and free of refined white sugar, additives and preservatives
- There is nothing like the flavor of a fresh batch of pumpkin seed butter!
- Easy to prepare with straight forward steps
- Cheaper than a store bought pumpkin seed butter, especially if you buy the seeds in bulk
- Made without adding any oil
- Can customize the flavor and texture to your taste
Also, pumpkin seed butter can be harder to find than the raw seeds, so another good reason to simply make your own!
How does pumpkin seed butter taste
Pumpkin seed butter tastes, well, like pumpkin seeds!
It has a raw and nutty flavor that is just a slightly sweet. I also found it much smoother in flavor than expected. Its earthy flavor combined to the creamy texture makes pumpkin seed butter very unique in taste that I find specially satisfying.
Health benefits of pumpkin seed butter
Pumpkin seeds are known to provide a significant amount of magnesium, zinc and healthy fats.
But what makes them also very interesting is the heaping dose of protein they provide. In only one portion (1 oz - 28g - just shy of 4 tbsp), you will find 7 grams of healthy protein.
They also contains plenty of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants and are believed to reduce inflammation when consumed regularly.
In reality, pumpkin seeds are very easy to include into our daily meals: sprinkle on oatmeals, salads or even top pasta dishes. When kept whole, they add not only extra nutrients, but flavor and interesting texture. So why not eat them more?
And turning them into butter will keep all of their amazing health benefits intact while making them an interesting way to incorporate them more into your diet.
You can read more about health benefits of pumpkin seeds in this article.
What you will need to make homemade pumpkin seed butter
- Food processor. The type and strength of your food processor will determine how fast your seeds will turn into a butter consistency.
- Raw, unsalted and shelled pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas). To save money, you can buy them online in larger quantities. The seeds I use are the one from Terrasoul Superfoods.
How to make homemade pumpkin seed butter
The making of pumpkin seed butter itself is very straight forward:
Roast + Process!
Roast the seeds
Spread your seeds on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 350° or until the seeds are starting to brown with a nice toasty smell invading your house.
Transfer the seeds to a food processor and process until you reach a silky & smooth texture.
To do this, you will have to stop your machine a few times, scrape the sides and under the blades and re-start the food processor. Keep going until it is smooth and uniform.
At first, the seeds will be crumbly and looking quite dry, it can even form a large ball at some point or look like it "seized up". Do not despair!
Keep going, take a few breaks, especially if your machine seems to be overheating, and you will eventually get to a super creamy delicious butter.
I make pumpkin seeds butter within 8-10 minutes, but it can take up to 15-20 minutes, especially if your food processor isn't super powerful. So you might have to be patient!
Watch how to make it
What type of seeds to use
It is best to use raw, shelled and unsalted seeds.
This recipe is not a good one to use all the seeds from your Halloween pumpkin! You need shelled seeds to make butter, the shells are too fibrous and won't turn into butter.
How to adjust the texture of my pumpkin seed butter
You can stop your food processor whenever the texture is perfect for you. Only using pumpkin seeds will give you a very spreadable and thicker kind of consistency.
If you are looking for a drizz-able or runnier texture, then you might need to add a hint of oil (choose neutral in flavor) to reach a thinner result, but I find this to be unnecessary.
How to store homemade pumpkin seed butter
Once the butter is smooth, transfer to an air-tight container and store either at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or in the fridge for up to 2 months. When resting in the fridge, the butter will set and become slightly more solid, but will become runnier again once out on the counter for a little bit.
You can also freeze it for up to 3 months!
Pumpkin seed butter uses
Seed butters are amazing at replacing nut butters for when you are looking for a nut-free option. You can also use it in baking anytime it asks for almond or peanut butter.
This is super helpful for all these school age nut-free lunch boxes! Other than baking, it can be used so many other ways too:
- Quick Breakfast: Simply spread on toast, top with fruits and sprinkle a little cinnamon.
- Overnight oats or oatmeal: add a spoonful to this pumpkin overnight oat or top this matcha chocolate oatmeal for extra protein and fat.
- Healthy filling snack: spread the butter on whole wheat tortillas, add sliced banana and a few dark chocolate chips and roll. These are great for kids.
- Smoothies: add some to any of your smoothies to make them creamier and richer. Try adding some to this blackberry smoothie to make it more filling.
How to flavor it
I love to keep this butter plain so I can use it in recipes. I will often simply add some coconut sugar over if using over toasts. But you can also add flavoring ingredients right into the food processor depending of what you like.
To do this, follow the instructions to make the BASIC plain butter. Then, when you reach the desired texture, add your flavoring to the food processor and process until combined, for a minute or two.
Try these ideas:
- Add a little cinnamon or pumpkin spice mix with some maple syrup: perfect if you are looking for a lightly sweetened butter with a little spiced flavor. Especially great for the fall!
- Make a chocolate pumpkin seed butter by adding some raw cacao powder and a little sweetener, such as maple syrup or coconut sugar.
- Vanilla pumpkin seed butter can also be made by adding a little splash of vanilla extract. just a little bit should be enough! Add also something sweet to enhance the vanilla flavor, like maple syrup or brown rice syrup.
Yes, pumpkin seed butter is freezable. You can freeze some in small container and thaw overnight when ready to use.
First thing to try is to process the butter a little longer! It can take up to 15-20 minutes (or even more, depending on your food processor) to reach a super smooth texture. If your food processor can't handle processing for so long, then take a break and come back at it later (so it does not overheat). You can also add a small amount of neutral tasting oil to the food processor, but I do not find this to be necessary.
If you have a high-speed blender, yes you can. But, as much as I love my Vitamix, I find it is much easier to use (and clean!) a food processor when making seed or nut butter.
I hope you enjoy this homemade pumpkin seed butter recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Pumpkin Seed Butter
- Food processor
- 2 cups raw, unsalted and shelled pumpkin seeds
- Turn on the oven to 350°. Spread the seeds on an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the seeds start to brown. Let them cool down on the baking sheet completely.
- Transfer the seeds to a food processor and process the seeds until a butter forms. You will have to take a few breaks to scrape the walls and make sure the butter and machine does not overheat. It will take several minutes (10-15) to reach a creamy butter, it will depend on the strength of your food processor.
- Transfer to a air-tight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or in the fridge for up to 2 months. Can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
- You can flavor your pumpkin seed butter by adding salt, cinnamon, pumpkin spice mix and maple syrup. Add them to the food processor after the seeds have turned to butter, then process to combine.
- Pumpkin seed butter is delicious simply spread over toast, but you can also use it in baking, top your oatmeal and add to smoothies.