Squash Your Snack Cravings with Roasted Seeds
You may not be able to eat healthy 100 percent of the time during the holidays, but at least you can try to be smart about your snacks. For a healthy between-meal bite that also celebrates the season, turn to roasted squash seeds. You may have gathered a batch of seeds for toasting while carving your jack-o-lantern, but pumpkins aren’t the only gourds to consider. Butternut and acorn squash are obvious choices, but you can also season and roast the seeds from a variety of winter squash, such as delicata or spaghetti.
Not only do these crunchy bites pack a tasty punch, but they’re also good for you. According to the USDA, squash seeds are a solid source of protein and rich in both potassium and magnesium. They’re also very easy to prepare—give these simple steps a try:
• Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
• Spoon seeds out of squash and place in bowl. Don’t worry about the excess pulp—it will caramelize in the oven, making it easy to pick away after the seeds have been roasted.
• Season as desired (see below for ideas) and toss mixture to evenly coat. Spread seeds in a single layer along baking sheet and place in oven.
• Roast until seeds are crisp and golden brown, approximately 50 minutes (stir every 10 to 15 minutes to avoid burning).
Do you like your seeds spicy, salty, or sweet? Here are some seasoning blends to try (each batch of seasoning is enough to coat two cups of squash seeds).
Classic: 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, ½ tablespoon coarse salt
Chili-Lime: 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Parmesan-Crusted: 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter, 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon black pepper
Pumpkin-Pie Spice: 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground clove, 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
Cinnamon & Brown Sugar: 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar, pinch of coarse salt
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Photo credit: elana’s pantry