Thursday, October 6, 2011

Crispy Squash/Pumpkin Seeds

Fall to me always means fresh squash from the garden or farmers' markets.  I love squash.  Kevin doesn't like it pureed (it's a texture thing for him), but he likes it cubed and roasted.  Carson likes it some days, other days not so much.  But all three of us always love the seeds.  I save the seeds from any kind of fall squash or pumpkin.  The method of preparing them is always the same.  And they are all equally tasty.  So the next time you are cleaning out the seed cavity of a squash, set the seeds aside... they make a wonderful, healthy, paleo snack and are a great to addition to granola, trail mix, or baked goods.  So here's how you make them.

Crispy Squash/Pumpkin Seeds

any fall squash or pumpkin of your liking
4 cups water
2 Tablespoons salt

You'll start by cutting your squash in half and cleaning out the seed cavity. 

Place the seeds and stringy squash "guts" into a bowl.  Once you've got your squash baking in the oven, take the time to clean the seeds.  This can be time consuming, depending on the type of squash used, but it's worth it, trust me.  I often will clean them to the point of the second picture below, set them aside for a bit. Then work at cleaning them again to get all the squash goop off. 

Once you have your clean seeds, place them in a clean bowl and cover with warm water.  Add salt and stir it up a little.  Then cover with a plate or cloth and let it sit on your countertop overnight, for at least 7 or 8 hours, but preferably for 24 hours.  (Sorry I don't have pictures of these steps from here on out... I swear I took them, but they did not upload onto my computer...).  This soaking step is necessary to reduce the seeds' antinutrients and help make them more digestible. 

After the seeds have soaked, spread them out evenly onto a dehydrator tray or cookie sheet.  Dry them until crisp and dry.  Dehydrating the seeds helps to preserve the enzymes, which helps with digestion.

Now your seeds are ready to eat!  You can leave them plain, or spice them up.  They are great either way.  If you leave them plain, they'll be nice and crunchy with a salty flavor to them - yum!  I usually fill glass quart jars with just plain crispy seeds to use throughout the year. 

This post is linked to:
Simple Lives Thursday @ GNOWFGLINS
Pennywise Platter Thursday @ The Nourishing Gourmet
Grain-Free Food Carnival @ Real Food Forager


The Voogts said...

I love crispy squash and pumpkin seeds too! But I rarely use mine because I hate cleaning them :P I know it's a waste. But I just rarely have the time.

Sara said...

It does take some time to clean them, but its not that bad. The first step is easy, just putting them in a bowl of water and swirling will get most of the gunk off. But I'd rather clean mine then spend the money buying them... they're expensive when I can just do mine and make the squash/pumpkin even more affordable. Kind of like stretching a whole chicken. ;)

suzyhomemaker said...

I wonder if you could speed up the cleaning process by putting them in a salad spinner? Hmm I might try this.

The Voogts said...

Interesting idea. I just bought 8 squashes (is that a word? :P). Maybe I'll put in the effort to deal with the seeds for once.