Yep-- I said squash, not pumpkin. If you have winter squash in storage-- you have the makings for a perfect winter snack for a New Year! And a healthy one at that!
The next time you cut open a squash and scoop out that seed cavity, envision those seeds roasted and toasted with a sprinkle of salt. Salty decadence!
Uncle David's Dakota Dessert squash-- prepping for baking and seed roasting!
What kind of winter squash seeds can you roast? Basically all of 'em! And they're actually better than pumpkins seeds in my humble opinion-- less fibrous and chewy. This works equally well with acorn, butternut, delicata, hubbard squash, etc-- as well as pumpkin seeds.
After scooping out the seed cavity, start pinching the seeds out of the pulp. I 'dry' pinch 'cuz water just makes this process more slippery.
Pinch the seeds into a bowl with about a cup of water in the bottom. Use a bowl large enough for you to get your hands into.
After extracting the seed from the pulp, cover the seeds in water to squish and swish them clean. A little remaining flesh is fine. It's up to you how clean you wanna get 'em.
Get 'em as clean as you want 'em! Or not!
Optional and for extra flavorful crunchiness-- soak them in salt water for 8-24 hours before toasting. There's a bit of delayed gratification here but the results are so worth it! Just add 2 teaspoons of salt per cup of water and soak. Even a short soak helps! Once you try this step you won't wanna skip it!
After washing or soaking, drain and pat the seeds dry.
Preheat your oven to 345°F.
For each cup of seeds toss with two teaspoons of olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt to taste.
Other options for the more adventurous-- add pepper. Or garlic powder. Or try rosemary, or basil, or dill weed, or curry, or your favorite seasoning mix! Maple with hot pepper anyone?
Make small batches to experiment and find your favorites. And have fun!
After seasoning, spread a single layer on a baking sheet. Parchment paper helps with cleanup.
Roast for 10 minutes, then stir for even roasting. Then back in the oven for another 10 minutes or 'til the seeds are golden.
Check for a pleasing crunchy texture; roast longer if needed but watch carefully. Do not over bake 'em-- they'll take on a burned flavor.
Store any leftovers in a sealed container to prevent them from contracting moisture. They make great salad toppers for that extra crunch. Also yummy sprinkled on top of a creamy squash soup!
Our best to you,
Theresa & Dan