Squash Seeds that Make the Husband Happy

These squash seeds made my husband stop in the middle of his conference call, turn to me, point to his bowl of seeds and mouth, “These are awesome!”

If that’s not a rave review, I don’t know what is!

I am somewhat of a newcomer to roasting squash seeds.  I learned a year or two ago that all squash seeds–not just pumpkin seeds–can be roasted.  This was a revelation.  Since then I have experimented from time to time with different flavor combinations and methods of roasting with widely varying levels of success.  But I think I’ve solved it.

Ok, I didn’t do it alone.  The process of making the best, crispy squash seeds was stolen directly from Oh She Glows!  (again, I know).  Can you tell I’m a huge fan of her work?  I took her excellent strategy of boiling the seeds in salt water before roasting them and applied it to all squash seeds, instead of just pumpkin seeds.

We start off with a yucky mass of seeds and guts.  The first step is to separate the seeds from the gunk, and there is no way to do this without giving your hands a squash treatment.  You gotta just dig right in and get messy.

Once they are sorted, wash them to remove remaining orange bits as best you can.  Don’t worry if you can’t get it all off.  The washed seeds get boiled in salt water for 1o minutes, drained, and dried on a tea towel or paper towels (but paper towels can get stuck on the seeds which is a pain to pick off, so I recommend the tea towel).

After the seeds are dry, I like to give my seeds a private olive oil massage.  I used to cheat and just spray the baking sheet with Pam, dump the seeds on the pan and spray again.  I mean, it works.  But as I’ve matured (cough) I’ve developed a more sophisticated approach.  OR I just think it’s fun.  That could be part of it.  Just about a teaspoon works when you do it this way, too, because you make sure that every seed gets coated.

A big part of my previous experiments have had to do with the seasonings that I use.  I guess you could roast them plain with just salt, but that just feels like a missed opportunity for me.  I’ve tried chili power, cumin, and cinnamon together before, and that’s pretty good.  When I get really brave I would even add a small dash of cayenne pepper, too.

I’ve put together sweet combinations with just cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and a dash of sugar.  Or sometimes it’s just salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  These are good, but this time I really hit it out of the park, according to my husband.

I happened to be out of cinnamon, which is all the motivation I needed to really try something new.  I don’t really measure these kinds of things, but I’ll do my best to estimate how much I used.  All of these can and should be adjusted to your own tastes, too.

  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Dash cumin
  • Dash cardamon
  • Dash cloves

I spread the massaged seeds on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Then I sprinkled this magical mix evenly over the seeds.

Roast in a 325° oven for 10 minutes, then pull them out a stir. Roast another 8-12 minutes, watching very closely for the last 5 minutes.

I find they are best between 30 seconds out of the oven and 5 minutes out of the oven, because that’s about how long they last.  You can save some for later, just give them plenty of time to cool before packing them away.

I’ll summarize the directions below without my commentary, to make it easier to follow the recipe.

Roasted Squash Seeds

Inspired by Oh She Glows

Ingredients

  • Seeds from a squash (pumpkin, butternut, acorn, kuri, or whatever you’ve got)
  • Olive oil
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Cumin
  • Cardamon
  • Cloves

1. Preheat the oven to 325°.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper if you have it.

2. Separate the squash seeds from the guts of the squash and wash seeds in water to remove as much as you can.

3. Add seeds to a pot of salted water and bring to a soft boil.  Boil the seeds for 10 minutes.  Strain the seeds and dry them on a tea towel.

4. In a bowl, massage the seeds with olive oil. For one squash’s worth of seeds, 1/2 tsp should be plenty.

5. Spread the squash seeds out evenly on the prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle the seeds with a mixture of 4 parts sugar, 3 parts salt, and 1 parts cumin, cardamon, and cloves.  It doesn’t take much for one batch of seeds.  Additional seasonings can be added after baking, too, if needed.

6. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven, stir the seeds, and put back in the oven for an additional 8-12 minutes, watching closely during the final 5 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven and enjoy almost immediately.

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