Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Healthy Snacks

Steve did some wonderful things with kale and peanuts, so if you've got a hankering for a healthy snack, check out his blog for a second.

Last weekend, I roasted some winter squashes from my CSA.  I used one in a soup and one I froze for use later.  But one thing I love to make and eat whenever I cook any type of winter squash--be it pumkin, delicata, butternut, or any other kind, are roasted seeds.  My mother used to make these after we carved Halloween pumpkins and I'm not exaggerating when I say that if I had to chose between the seeds and candy, I'd choose the seeds.  I would have cried for my lost candy, but I still would have chosen the seeds.

These are delicious.  They are very good for you, they are very easy to make, and since you already have them onhand, it's really no big deal to make them.  Double points for productivity if you're roasting the squash instead of boiling it, as that way you've got an oven already going (however, there are times I just slice and add acorn squash or kabocha in nabe or a miso-infused soup, so then I will quite shamelessly get the oven going just for the seeds.  I know.  Wasteful.  Ah, well. . .)

Basically, take out the seeds and the pulp around them, and pop out as many seeds as you can into a strainer.  Try to get rid of as much of the pulp as you can; there will be a little stuck to the seeds, but you will take care of that once you're done getting rid of the big chunks of pulp.  Rinse the seeds in the strainer under cold water, and swish them around with your hand to separate them from the little pieces of remaining pulp.  Pat them dry with a clean towel, and place on a dry cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, or whatever ground dried herbs or spices you like.  (I like just a touch of salt, but I've heard that a little bit of cayenne pepper and garlic granules are also nice as well.)  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about ten minutes or so.  You'll have to check, so maybe about midway through pull out the sheet and see if they're getting toasted.  Stir them a bit to make sure the seeds are evenly cooked and put them back in.  When they're done, take them out and allow them to cool (well, I do steal a few hot seeds).  Eat and enjoy.

These are great as a straight snack, as a garnish for soups, or an addition to salads.

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean about firing up the oven just for the seeds. A toaster oven is perfect, if I only had the room for one. I coat the seeds with soy sauce before baking. It adds a more brown color, the seeds caramelize nicely, and salts the seeds just right. Thank you for the mention!