Don’t call me crazy yet – hear me out. I mean, I always thought who eats watermelon seeds? They’re the nasty things you bite into by accident when eating watermelon. However, I ordered, by mistake, some watermelon kernels a while ago. Put them in my pantry and forgot about them until recently when I had to clean out the pantry because I couldn’t fit anything else in there. I started throwing them out for the birds and some fell on the counter. I ate them and was shocked! They taste great, almost like a mix of peanut and cashew, except they aren’t as high in fat as most nuts. Needless to say, the birds aren’t going to get anymore.
Here’s a breakdown of what 1 ounce of watermelon kernels contains: 8 grams protein; 13.4 grams fat; 4.34 grams carbohydrates; 15.3 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 146 mg magnesium; 214 mg phosphorus; and 184 mg potassium. They’re low in calories, high in fiber and essential fatty acids.
And like the pumpkin seeds I love, they grind up well into a butter. I think I’m going to try some of those cashew butter recipes for things like cheese that didn’t work well with my pumpkin seed butter. I’ll let you know how that goes.
In the bowl of a food processor combine:
1 pound of watermelon kernels (Yupik is the brand I used but there are quite a few available online)
Begin blending until they are mostly crumbly before adding:
2-3 tablespoons avocado oil (amount depends on how creamy you want the butter)
If the mixture becomes too thin from the oil, add more kernels. I ended up adding 1 1/2 pounds to my food processor. When the butter is the desired texture (I like mine a little crunchy), add:
pinch to 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Blend to combine before scooping the butter into air-tight jars. Refrigerate (or freeze). Use like you would any nut butter. My 1 1/2 pounds of kernels produced 4 cups of butter.