Pepitos–A Sure Cure for “Macobi”

Pepitos are great for your heart in many ways.

Pepitos are great for your heart in many ways.

As a child I had the fortune of growing up in a tiny country in Central America called Belize. Living there gave me the chance to experience a different culture with unique traditions and customs. The food in Belize is as exotic as the country—breadfruit, conch fritters, plantain, golden plums, and pepitos.
I remember Mrs. Lopez selling pepitos in her pigtail bucket during school recess. We’d line up to get our snack and as we waited our turn, a few girls would start teasing in Creole, “Wha de mata gal, ya ga macobi?” “Macobi” is a Creole term for “love sickness” (i.e. you are sad because your loved one is away or left you), and the tradition is when you have “macobi” you eat pepitos to make you feel better. I guess we all had “macobi” because we seemed to eat pepitos every day at recess.
Pepitos are edible pumpkin seeds. They have a white hull with a medium-dark green seed inside, which has a deliciously delicate flavor. They are usually sold salted, but can be found in Mexican markets and many health food stores in roasted or raw form, and with or without the hulls.
Pumpkin seeds or pepitos may or may not cure “love sickness,” but they definitely have other healing properties. These seeds are rich in protein, zinc, fiber and vitamin E, and they even contain some omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that pumpkin seeds can help prostate problems, nausea, and motion sickness. These seeds have enzymes called protease inhibitors which help protect us against cancer.
So whether it be to ward off cancer or help with motion sickness, or even “macobi,” pepitos are a delightful treat, full of healthy nutrients.

Here is Mrs. Lopez’s recipe for those of you who want to try this tasty snack.

Toasted Pepitos
Take seeds from pumpkin, and in a bowl of warm water, clean off all the slimy strings. Put clean seeds in another bowl of warm, salted water and let soak for twenty minutes. Place seeds on towel to drain, but keep slightly wet. Put them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt (optional), then toast in oven at 350˚ for about ten to fifteen minutes or until crisp, stirring every five minutes.

About Annette Cain

Annette Cain is an award-winning author, endurance athlete and certified personal trainer.

Known as the Longevity Lady™ Annette helps baby boomers age stronger so their bodies can keep up with their lives. Her ageless lifestyle products and programs provide an easy and balanced approach to becoming lean & limber and living younger longer.

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