Friday, September 17, 2010

Pumpkin Seed Ferment

This food is my favorite. I invented it while fermenting some other seeds and nuts and this by far was my favorite. I make it about once a month and have a hard time sharing it. Luckily, my husband doesn't like it. This process doesn't add microbes, the pumpkin seeds, if raw and untreated, come naturally gifted with their own lacto-bacillus, as does most of the food from the earth. This food is only for the really adventurous. Some of my seminar attendees say it is an acquired taste but with me it was love at first bite.

You will need...

  • about a pint (2 cups) of dried, raw, shelled, pumpkin seeds, or pepitas. Not roasted, salted or oiled....just RAW.

  • about 3 cups of pure water (chlorine-free)

  • 1 or more TBS ghee

  • 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. Real Salt or other high mineral salt or some sprinkles of Eden brand Ume Plum Vinegar ( a huge condiment favorite of mine)

  • a food processor

The process is to combine the water and pumpkin seeds in a clean wide-mouth quart jar and cover with a cheese cloth or paper napkin.....something that can "breathe" and secure with an elastic. Set this on a kitchen counter at room temperature for 3 days.

This is the hard will bubble and stink! Yes, stink. The water activates the bacteria and they get all happy and start to ingest the sugars on the seeds and in the seeds and they stink. It is perfectly OK. My husband hates that smell and thinks something is dead. He tried to throw them out once when I wasn't home thinking one of my experiments had gone bad. And the first time I invented this, I thought so too but when I tasted it, wow! I loved it.

At 2 days you should see lots of bubbles and white foamy stuff on top. That's normal and the stink is normal too! Some seeds will be floating.

After 3 days, drain the seeds and rinse under tap water in a strainer. Immediately dump some in a processor with part of the ghee ( also at room temperature) and some salt and start processing. This is another hard part. I have to frequently stop the machine and with a spatula, push down the sides. My processor is kinda small and I use both hands lift it and shake it at the same time I am processing. Add more ghee if needed. It is a thick, textured paste when I think it is done. I scoop the light green paste and put it into a covered jar and put in cold storage. I don't eat it with anything, just by itself with a tiny spoon. It's an in between snack; a great treat with good fat for energy.

A variation of this idea is to just spread some of the rinsed and sticky seeds out on a plate and sprinkle with salt and let them dry. The flavor of the activated bacillus enhances the flavor of the seeds and with some salt is just delicious.


  1. Hmmm. Interesting. I am trying a different route right now. But I wish this had a print button. Love the idea- pumkin seeds are good for men especially. Thanks for this info!!!!

  2. I have just fermented some pumpkin seeds, and the smell is so awful I can't bring myself to try it! eeek.

  3. I have a weird breakfast. I soak almonds and pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and black seeds for 12 hours. Then I add whey (from kefir), goji berries, soaked linseeds and chia, goji berries, raisins and macadamias. Leave it out on the bench for 1 day ( I live in the tropics so fermentation doesn't take long) then refrigerate. I have a big bowl with fresh fruit for breakfast.

  4. This looks so delicious!
    Recently I found it necessary to up my calories and protein, as an O-Type on Dr. D’Adamo’s blood type diet pumpkin is highly beneficial for me. I’m trying to find the best way to reintegrate pumpkin seeds as well as adding more ferments to my diet.
    I always presoak any nuts and seeds to rid them of enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid before anything else… I was hoping you could tell me, do you know if pre-soaking the pumpkin seeds negatively affects the fermentation process in any way?
    Aside from swapping the ghee for tallow, and maybe splitting the batch for a salty/sweet birch xylitol jar, I’m sure this would be a big hit in a house full of O-types!

  5. Fermenting seeds this way is all wrong + you have just discarded a bucket load of Vitamins....

    Try this:
    1) Wash and soak your seeds till soft.
    2) Manually crush them or blend in food processor (This releases the oils, breaks up the fibers, proteins, and minerals)
    3) Place in Ceramic or glass jar with lid (not tight fit)
    4) ferment by covering completely with water (addition of salt is optional)
    5) Ferment for 4-10 days
    Store in Fridge in airtight container and consume both solids and liquids. Stir before consumption as liquids, solids and oils will separate.

    Us this same principle for different recipes, and try not to turn into superman!

  6. I will be trying an experiment by mixing pumpkin seeds into my fermenting cabbage! You can also try different mixes, such as tumeric, black pepper, ginger, is the chefs is living everyday

  7. This is another great way of eating pumpkin seed. Though am a lover of pumpkin and like take a lot but I never have an idea of fermenting it before now. Thanks for sharing this. I will sure try my hand on this.