Absolutely. All too often squash seeds are dispatched to the trash or compost. They make a wonderful, nutrient dense crispy snack that is nutritious and full of nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids, protein, beta- carotene and vitamin C.
Toasted squash seeds keep for weeks or more in the refrigerator. Occasionally, I find a small batch of squash seeds in the back of the fridge. I am astonished that they weren’t all eaten up the day they were made.
Squash has been studied for its health benefits and shows that when part of an overall healthy lifestyle and diet, it can help support reducing cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes risk.
Recipe for Roasted, Toasted Squash Seeds
This simple recipe can be used similarly for any variety of squash, including seeds you might pull from a pumpkin in the process of making a jack-o-lantern or harvesting the pumpkin flesh for pie. So the next time your kids ask, Can you eat squash seeds?, Pull out this recipe.
- First, scoop out the seed-filled insides, separate the seeds from the pulpy strands by using a strainer with warm water running over the seeds. Pat dry.
- You don’t need to remove every bit of squash material, as it will crisp up and be easily removed after baking.
- There is no need for added oil or to spray your pan, just spread a single layer of the slippery batch of seeds on a baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees and bake for 15-30 minutes until they begin to pop. Cooking on this low heat helps preserve the fatty acid content and also prevents burning.
- If you like, when they’ve dried out a bit, but are still hot, sprinkle with a dash of tamari, and let that sizzle in among the seeds for a few more minutes.
- Tend these little seed packs closely — periodically, stir the slowly roasting seeds. They will burn as the moisture escapes and the nutty flavor concentrates. These seeds know just how to dry themselves out. They will puff up in a about an half hour. This will create a desirable crunch for a delicious toasty snack.
- Let the browned seeds cool. Store in small glass jars. you can even give some away as small holiday gifts. Toss a few on top of stuffed squash. It’s a great way to show kids the circular process of linking the seed back to the finished product.
One thing I like about toasted squash seeds is that I can’t buy them in a store. It’s a way to use the entire vegetable and get some tasty healthy benefits. For those who are allergic to tree nuts, these may be a good alternative.
This article is sponsored by the Institute for Natural Medicine, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, partnered with the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. INM’s mission is to transform healthcare in America by increasing both public awareness of naturopathic medicine and access to naturopathic doctors for patients. INM believes that naturopathic medicine, with its unique principles and practices, has the potential to reverse the tide of chronic illness that overwhelms existing health care systems and to empower people to achieve and maintain their optimal lifelong health. INM strives to achieve this mission through the following initiatives:
- Education – Reveal the unique benefits and outcomes of naturopathic medicine
- Access – Connect patients to licensed naturopathic doctors
- Research – Expand quality research of this complex and comprehensive system of medicine
Dr. Rothenberg is a contributor to INM and practicing licensed naturopathic doctor in Northampton, Massachusetts. Dr. Rothenberg is the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians 2017 Physician of the Year. Dr. Rothenberg's writing can be found on NaturalMed.org, Better Nutrition's Naturopathic Health Hub, Medium, Thrive Global, and The Huff Post. She is the proud mother of 3 adult children.