From carving Jack-O-Lanterns to baking pies, pumpkins are used all year in all kinds of ways. Often, we bake them into delicious fall dishes or use them for spooky decorations. Of course, not all pumpkins are used those ways. In fact, Styrian pumpkins are known for neither of these purposes.
Instead, they’re valued for their pumpkin seeds.
So, what makes these Styrian pumpkin seeds so valuable?
In this article, we’ll explore how Styrian pumpkin seeds differ from other pumpkin varieties and cover their unique characteristics.
What Are Styrian Pumpkin Seeds?
The Styrian pumpkin seeds we know today come from the pumpkin variety Cucurbita pepo subsp. Pepo. These originated from Southern Mexico in the 1800s and were popularly shipped to European countries, including Styria, Austria.
The pumpkins in Styria developed a mutation in which their seeds didn’t form any shells or hulls. Instead, its seeds are dark green in colour and lack shells. This feature makes them ideal for pumpkin seed oil production since there is one less step required during production. This new shell-less variety became so popular that Styria is now known for their special pumpkin seed cultivation.
Have you ever seen a pack of dark green pumpkin seeds in the grocery store? Or maybe a deep green bottle of pumpkin oil? If so, then you’ve already seen the products of Styrian pumpkin seeds.
Styrian Pumpkin Seeds vs. Other Types of Pumpkin Seeds
Normally, pumpkin seeds have a thick, white outer shell that protects the seeds within them. However, that makes it difficult to eat the seeds, so it often requires baking, boiling, or cooking the seeds to remove the hull. With over 300 pumpkin varieties around today, the Styrian pumpkin seeds are one of the few varieties that don’t have a hull.
By comparison, Styrian pumpkin seeds don’t need to be de-shelled and can be eaten raw. They also produce high-yielding and high-quality pumpkin seed oil, which contains multiple natural benefits. Because of this, it’s becoming a favourite for plant-based diets and recipes.
What are the Unique Characteristics of Styrian Pumpkin Seeds?
Aside from being shell-less, Styrian pumpkin seeds have many other unique traits. Here are 5 unique traits of Styrian pumpkin seeds and their benefits:
#1 – Depth of Colour
Pumpkin seeds come in a number of colours—from white to light yellow to green. However, none compares to the deep green colour of Styrian pumpkin seeds. That’s because the same mutation that caused the Styrian pumpkin seeds to be shell-less also created its green colouration.
#2 – Rich in Nutrients
Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients, Styrian pumpkin seeds are known to be good for your overall health and well-being. In fact, numerous pumpkin seed studies link them to better heart, bone, muscle, bladder, and prostate health. Another Styrian pumpkin seed benefit is that it helps fight cancer by blocking the growth of cancer cells and tumours.
#3 – High Oil Content
Also known as oilseed, Styrian pumpkin seeds contain up to 40-50% oil. This allows growers to produce more pumpkin seed oil than from a regular pumpkin. So much so that it’s one of the main varieties used for pumpkin seed oil.
#4 – Protected Geographical Indication Certification
While these seeds originate from Styria, Austria, the name is also an official designation. That is because Styrian pumpkin seeds are Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) certified. This means that Styrian pumpkin products are guaranteed to be authentic and high quality and only come from certified organic farms in Austria.
#5 – Organic Growing Methods
Farmed in the rich lands of Styria, Styrian pumpkin seeds are grown using organic practices and methods. This helps preserve their nutritional content and ensures that you're not consuming toxic chemicals from dangerous pesticides.
With so many advantages over regular varieties of pumpkin seeds, it’s no wonder why Styrian pumpkin seeds are rising in popularity.
Whether you’re looking to improve your health or want something to add to your diet—why not try Styrian pumpkin seeds?
At Nutrika, we curate a range of nutritious plant-based food products for a fresher and more sustainable diet. Learn more about our tasty snacks, natural oils, and nutritious powders to see what works for you.