The mighty pumpkin seed. Could Southwest Idaho become a domestic source?
seeds contain a wide variety of nutrients ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein, and zinc.Last summer Idaho business review posted an article on the potential for Idaho and Oregon to become a source for pumpkin seeds. Currently, most of the seeds sold in markets come from China.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants, iron, zinc, magnesium and many other nutrients. An ounce (28 grams) contains about 151 calories.
Pumpkin Seed Growers in the Treasure Valley?
American retailers prefer to buy domestic foods, but most pumpkin seeds in snack foods come from China, she said.
Kit Kamo director of the Snake River Economic Development Alliance says there are local farmers interested in growing the seeds, and a researcher from Oregon State University is developing a cost estimate for producing and handling them. The findings will help determine whether seed pumpkins — which are distinct from decorative pumpkins and those grown for pumpkin pie — would be economically viable in Malheur County, Oregon and southwest Idaho.
“We feel there is a potential,” she told The Argus Observer of Ontario, Oregon.
Kamo said she met with officials from Kathie’s Kitchen, which produces the SuperSeedz brand of seasoned or flavored pumpkin seeds.
The seeds are harvested wet and will need to be washed and dried so they can be stored, she said. The seeds can be substituted in some applications for soy products, for people who are allergic to soy.
Pumpkin seeds aren’t the only potential new crop for the Western Treasure Valley. Most sunflower seeds used in snacks are also grown in China and may present another opportunity for farmers in the Treasure Valley, Kamo said.
How to you eat your seeds? Any favorite recipes to share?
Add them to the comments!!