Last up in our Tournament of Seeds Round 1 battles. Who will take this Food Fight!: exotic pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds) or tiny and ancient sesame seeds?
|Pumpkin seed||vs*||Sesame seed
|Mesoamerica, 13th century||origin||India, 3500 BC|
|165 kcal||calories||108 kcal|
|8.6 g||protein||3.2 g|
|14.1 g||total fat||9.2 g|
|4.03 g||MUFAs||3.45 g|
|0.05 g||omega-3s||0.07 g|
|1.9 g||fibre||2.6 g|
|2.33 mg||iron||2.8 mg|
|15 mg||calcium||188 mg|
No Baloney’s results? This one could be controversial. Yes, pumpkin seeds provide over twice as much protein as an equivalent amount of sesame seeds but protein is not everything! Sesame seeds take the win based on outstanding fibre and mineral content, as well as higher per-calorie healthy fats in a 2 tbsp serving.
Keep in mind, these are whole sesame seeds with hulls intact – harder to find, but more mineral packed (Arrowhead Mills is a brand available in some stores or you can order online through American Spice Company). Unhulled sesame seeds are still a great choice, but only contain about 10% the calcium of unhulled.
Sesame seeds are often relegating to a sprinkling here and there, but we suggest finding ways to boost your sesame seed intake above a dash! For instance, we love to use tahini (sesame seed paste) in salad dressings and smoothies for it’s rich, nutty taste. Tahini is also an ingredient in homemade hummus – calcium double-whammy of chickpeas and sesame. Try our Energy Balls recipe, which uses tahini and sesame seeds, for great on-the-go snack.
Next up in the Tournament of Seeds: the semi-final match-ups!
*Nutrition information from the Canadian Nutrient File based on 2 tbsp of “seeds, pumpkin and squash seed kernels, roasted” and “seeds, sesame seed kernels, whole, roasted”