There is something in me that likes to use every last bit of food – it takes skill, forethought, and lots of experience. It’s also a practice that grounds me and brings so much gratitude for what I have. The old adage, “Waste not, want not” has new meaning to me today.
I’m definitely not perfect but I’m making progress. The bit of extra time it takes to clean, dry, and roast pumpkin and squash seeds is worth the effort. I save seeds from all varieties – including butternut, acorn, spaghetti – they all taste fabulous when roasted. I’ve been cooking squash on a weekly basis, so save the seeds until I have a good amount to roast. After drying them, I leave them uncovered on a plate until I have enough to roast.
I make them differently each time, depending on my mood. Here I’m sharing a basic recipe that encourages creativity and a little experimentation on your part. My favorite mix is a blend of sweet, savory, and spicy, flavors like ancho chili, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, salt, and pepper. I obviously omit the sugar, but you can add it if you want them sweeter.
Then, I mix them with some other nuts and dried fruit to make a trail mix. It’s a great healthy snack, and one that Joe loves to take in his lunch.
If you don’t know how to roast a squash and dry the seeds, you can learn here. Or, learn how to peel a butternut squash here. Make an elegant butternut squash tart with this recipe, or learn how to stuff an acorn squash here. If you are in the mood for a delicious meal, check out this roasted butternut squash and spinach salad. (I’m having this for lunch today.)
- dried seeds from any squash
- a blend of your favorite spices
- enough good quality olive oil to coat the seeds
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet large enough to accommodate the seeds in a single layer with parchment paper.
- Put the seeds in a medium bowl and toss them in just enough olive oil to coat them. Sprinkle with your spice blend, toss to coat, and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or so until they’ve almost reached the desired crispness, stirring every 5 minutes. Take them out a couple of minutes before you think they’re done – they’ll continue to cook once removed from the oven. Watch carefully because they cook quickly. Place baking sheet on wire rack to cool. Store in a mason jar.