Vegetables are the coolest. It never ceases to amaze me how many different ways you can cook, cut and coat a vegetable. No one can live solely on just meat and clearly no one can, nor should, live solely on processed foods. Put the canned soup and red meat down and walk away.
Today’s veggie of choice is a delicious, cheerfully colored winter squash with flesh like long skinny noodles and edible seeds waiting to be coated in oil and tossed with spices. Spaghetti squash. If you haven’t been there, done that, then it’s time you go there and try this.
I recently made Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats for my family during a weekend trip home. After a good 15 minutes of scooping out squash flesh with forearm burning and hand tingling, I couldn’t fathom composting those delicious looking little seeds along with the rest of the guts. I’d worked too hard!
While my squash was cooking I began the process of removing each seed from the sticky yellow flesh and placing them aside for a healthy, salty treat to enjoy later. This task not only reminds you that food is fun to play with (hello, Edward Squashguthands), but also teaches you patience as removing small seeds from big mounds of goo is like panning for gold in a hundred mile long river. Okay, it’s not that hard, but it does take some time. Turn on a good show (might I recommend Parenthood?!), grab another bowl and a towel and begin dissecting.
Once you’ve conquered the squash and removed all of the seeds, you get the pleasure of seasoning them with whatever your heart desires. My heart ALWAYS desires something salty, so naturally I chose a simple mixture of salt, pepper and olive oil with a dash of paprika and dried herbs for some flavor boost action. If you like sweet, then try using coconut oil, cinnamon, honey and nutmeg. Or you could completely ignore my suggestions and be entirely original.
Once you’ve got your perfectly seasoned seeds, it’s time to figure out how to eat them. Here are 5 delicious ways you can enjoy roasted squash seeds:
1. Just eat ’em. Snack time just got healthier.
2. Add them to a salad for a nice savory crunch.
3. Add them to a batch of homemade snack mix (or Scrabble, as we call it in our family).
4. Chop them up and use them as a crunchy topping to your next casserole.
5. Toss them in your food processor until they’re more like a breadcrumb consistency and use as a coating for chicken fingers, fish sticks or other coated veggies (zucchini fries!)
What to Bring to the Store
This recipe is so simple, all you might need with you at the store to reduce your packaging waste is a little reusable bag or jar for whatever spices you want to throw on these golden little gems. Please don’t feel the need to put a plastic produce bag around your squash! Your mouth is getting no where near the skin…come on now.
Say hello to 5 stars! Nothing but compost is produced in the making of this fancy fresh recipe. Zero waste from start to finish.
Feels good, doesn’t it?
- 2-3 winter squash (pumpkin, spaghetti, acorn) -- I used spaghetti squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut your squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the membranes and the seeds. Put your squash aside for another recipe!
- In a strainer with small holes, rinse your seeds thoroughly under cold water, about 5 minutes. Place on a baking sheet and pat dry with a towel. The seeds will stick to your towel a bit, so just shake them off and continue to dry (no need to get them completely dry).
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and herbs. Toss well until evenly coated.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!
- Depending on what squash you used, save the flesh and look up recipes for a delicious meal. Try squash soups, chilis and casseroles, or simply chop it up into cubes, toss with olive oil and spices and roast for 40-45 minutes in the oven!