In an episode of the hit ‘90s TV show Rugrats, 2-year-old Chuckie freaks out after he swallows a watermelon seed, fearing that it will grow into a melon inside his belly. To his relief, he eventually learns that his stomach won’t turn into a miniature greenhouse. As you probably already know, watermelon seeds are completely safe — but did you know that the seeds are actually little purses of protein?
However, in order to unlock the seeds’ nutritional benefits, they must first be sprouted. Sprouting seeds is pretty simple: Harvest some fresh seeds straight from a watermelon, run the seeds under water, and then let them dry. After this process, the seeds will naturally shed their black outer shell in about a week. An ounce of sprouted watermelon seeds contains 10 grams of protein — that’s four more grams per ounce than almonds.
On their own, the sprouted seeds are pretty bland, but they can be roasted and jazzed up with a sprinkle of sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and other seasonings. The seeds can bring a nutritional boost to your morning breakfast; simply fold them into your granola, blend them into an energizing smoothie, use them, to replace peanuts in trail mix , or substitute them for pine nuts in pesto
If sprouting your own watermelon seeds sounds like too much work, Go Raw sells the sprouted seeds in bags on their website. The company also offers a line of GROW Sprouted Raw Bars, which use the sprouted seeds as the main source of protein. Each 1.9-ounce bar delivers 10 percent of your recommended daily intake of iron and 12 grams of protein. The bars come in four different flavors: Zesty Lemon, Cinnamon Spice, Mint Chocolate, and Dark Chocolate. A case of 12 bars will cost you $27.48 on the company’s website, and they’re definitely worth a try if you’re bored with traditional protein bars.