Pepitas are pumpkin seeds. Fresh from the pumpkin, each green seed is encased in a beige, slightly tough but edible hull. With their hull stripped away, the seeds are dark green, slightly larger than sunflower seeds, and have a deep, nutty flavor.
Recipes calling for pepitas are often referring to the hulled seeds. A popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine, hulled pepitas are lovely, crunchy garnish for soups and salads. Hulled or unhulled, they also make a great snack on their own, roasted and sprinkled with salt, sugar, or spices.
Look for hulled pepitas in well-stocked grocery stores and natural food stores.
You can hull the seeds yourself by cracking and peeling off the hulls, but this is a tedious task; we recommend that if you need hulled seeds, you buy them that way.
After opening the package, store the pepitas in the freezer for up to six months.