POSTED: May 31, 2016

Grocery Headquarters - Watermelon Seeds Sprout Interest at Go Raw

It’s hard to believe it, but we’re entering peak watermelon season, and I couldn’t be more excited. 

I’ve already bought my first seedless watermelon of the season, but as I was cutting it up, I noticed a few black seeds sporadically sprinkled throughout the juiciest parts of the melon. Of course, growing up, I learned to discard the seeds—and even feared that if I ate one, a watermelon would grow in my belly. 

I have to chalk that up to lies adults told me as a kid, because eating watermelon seeds is not detrimental to health. In fact, research shows there are plenty of health benefits to eating watermelon seeds. Some food producers—like Go Raw, a brand by Freeland Foods, based in San Jose, Calif.—have taken notice of the health benefits these seeds offer and have incorporated them in new products. 

Go Raw’s CEO and owner, Robert Freeland, recently stopped by the GHQ office to tell us about the benefits of watermelon seeds and how Go Raw uses the seeds in its products. According to Go Raw, watermelon seeds are the healthiest part of the fruit as they have a high concentration of minerals, B vitamins and amino acids. They also work to regulate blood pressure and metabolism. 

“Watermelon seeds have 11-grams of protein per ounce,” Freeland says. “That was big shocker for us to learn. We were really excited to learn that they are really high in protein.”  

The company—which specializes in raw, sprouted foods—bought an organic crop to source the seeds and added a Sprouted Watermelon Seeds variety to its line of organic seeds. The seeds are cleaned, soaked, sprouted and mixed by hand. By gently drying Go Raw products in the company’s state of the art custom dehydration rooms, Freeland Foods preserves powerful nutrients and enzymes.

The Watermelon Seeds were a successful addition to the company’s line of Sprouted Seeds, and Go Raw brainstormed more ways to utilize the protein-packed seed. Thus, the idea for Go Raw’s Grow Sprouted Bars was born. 

The bars, which launched at Natural Products Expo West in March, derive their pure-plant protein solely from watermelon seeds and contain 8 or less whole-food, plant-based ingredients. Each bar has 12-grams of protein, as well as healthy fats and fiber. 

“They are moist, chewy and easier-to-eat plant-based bars, and the protein is strictly from the watermelon seeds,” Freeland says. “Consumers could eat the bars to replace any snack that is sweet and filling as they have minimal ingredients and are junk-free food. We want to make healthy snacking really easy.” 

Grow Sprouted Bars are Go Raw’s answer to that, and the bars are available in four flavors: Dark Chocolate, Cinnamon Spice, Mint Chocolate and Zesty Lemon. Sweetened only with organic dates, Grow Sprouted Bars have between 230-240 calories per serving. The bars are low glycemic, organic and non-GMO, in addition to being gluten-, soy-, nut- and dairy-free. They have a suggested retail price of $2.49. 

The bars will be hitting the shelves in the South and West (including California) regions next month, as well as online. A nationwide launch is set for the fall. 

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