Pumpkin seeds have a well-earned reputation as a tasty, easy-to-make snack, but they also pack plentiful health benefits; these crunchy seeds feature significant amounts of magnesium, zinc, omega-3s, antioxidants, fiber and, of course, protein. As an alternative to the usual suspects of whey and soy protein, pumpkin seed protein powder offers a cost-effective homemade alternative that lends itself to smoothies and baked goods alike.
Fill your electric coffee or spice grinder with raw, uncooked pumpkin seeds -- preferably washed and dried -- until it is halfway or three-fourths full, at maximum. If your grinder has fineness settings, set it to its finest consistency.
Grind the seeds until they achieve a consistency that resembles a slightly rougher whey or soy protein powder. Although pumpkins seed powder ends up having a coarser texture, shoot for a consistency that is as lightweight and fluffy as possible, like that of all-purpose flour. Grind for about 5 seconds at a time, then check the consistency by touch, repeating the process until you reach the desired fineness.
Transfer the powder into a turn-handle flour sifter. Hold the sifter over an open airtight container and turn the handle to sift the powder into the container. If you don't have a turn-handle sifter, use a finely meshed strainer, gently shaking the powder through the strainer so that the powder falls into the container. If your powder still has lots of seed chunks and parts, repeat the grinding and sifting process.
Seal the airtight container and store your pumpkin seed protein powder in the refrigerator for maximum shelf life.
Things You'll Need
Electric coffee or spice grinder
Turn-handle flour sifter or fine-meshed strainer
If you hear your grinder slowing down or stuttering as you grind, stop grinding and check for any parts of the pumpkin seeds stuck on the blade. Carefully dislodge the seed and continue grinding.
Add pumpkin seed powder to your pancake batter, oatmeal, workout shake or cold cereal to boost the protein content. This powder also lends itself to muffins, breads, cookies and baked bars. For a quick and healthy snack that's rich in zinc, blend pumpkin seed powder with applesauce. This recipe can help you sleep, as pumpkin seeds contain the amino acid tryptophan, which causes the body to release relaxing serotonin.
If you've scooped out the pumpkin seeds yourself, save the rest of the pumpkin for additional recipes, such as pumpkin-based breads, pie, tarts and even ravioli or pilau.
For optimal safety, always read and follow any instructions or warnings provided by the manufacturer of your electric grinder.
Don't run your nonstop when grinding pumpkin seeds; if you do, you may up with pumpkin-seed butter rather than a flour or meal.