Can You Eat Butternut Squash Seeds?
Roasted seeds are a popular superfood, helping promote cardiovascular health and weight loss. So you might be wondering, what about roasted squash seeds?
Can you eat butternut squash seeds? Absolutely yes! Much like pumpkin seeds, the larger size of squash seed makes them an odd but enjoyable snack to eat.
There are all manner of varieties of winter squash available, so you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to their seeds as well. Some crispier, others sweeter.
Add on the healthy oils in squash seeds and you have a superfood to top all superfoods. Seeds from butternut squash can easily be added to all manner of fall and winter recipes.
Some of our favourite winter squash recipes use the roasted seeds as a garnish, while others use them as a way to leave the meal feeling more fulfilling.
The seeds are also ideal for those on a plant-based diet, with vegan butternut squash risotto being a great way to enjoy flavor without animal products.
Health Benefits of Squash Seeds
Squash seeds are an excellent source of protein and contain all eight essential amino acids. They are also high in dietary fiber and potassium, which are both essential to good health.
Many people eat squash seeds for breakfast. They grind them into powder form and then mix them with other foods such as nuts or bread wheat bran to form energy balls or porridges.
Each variety of squash comes with a nutrient-packed seed centre, making squash plants easily one of the best choices for your health.
These gourds grow to be very large, and if you minimise food waste by eating the seeds as well, then you’re bound to be left feeling very full after a meal.
The size of squash seed is also not something to be taken lightly, especially when compared to the seeds of a pomegranate or guava.
How to Enjoy Butternut Squash Seeds
When it comes to your favourite squash recipes, you can add seeds to a dish to further elevate the meal.
Varieties of winter squash are used to make soup, for example. Adding crushed seeds to a butternut squash soup as a garnish really adds to the culinary experience.
Roasted squash seeds are more popular, and enjoyed alone as a treat to snack on. This isn’t too dissimilar to eating pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
As we’ve already said, you can enjoy the seeds the same way you enjoy any type of winter squash. Spaghetti squash, butternut squash curry, you don’t even need to count for squash seeds.
How to Store Squash Seeds
When storing squash seeds, they cannot survive for long if there is an abundance of moisture. Keeping them stored in dry conditions is important, or else they may germinate.
Therefore, the best way to store squash seeds is in an airtight container. Alternatively, you can place the seeds in a sealed bag and keep them cool.
If space permits, place your seeds in an opaque container so sunlight does not prematurely speed up the process of decaying your seeds.
If space does not permit, placing your containers in a cool area with good ventilation will help prolong their lifespan as well.
Roasting Squash Seeds
Roasting in an oven or a frying pan makes for great snacks in short periods of time. The roasting time of these seeds is 5-10 minutes after all.
While the roasting time is longer than smaller seeds, adding a little extra salt to your pan or baking sheet can give you a wonderfully savory snack to enjoy.
Just don’t overdo it with the extra salt, these seeds are super healthy after all. You don’t want to ruin them with a high saline content.
Using Squash Seeds as a Garnish
Squash seeds are an efficient garnish for savory dishes or as an ingredient in drinks. To add flavor to your drink, you can place squash seeds inside your cup or bowl.
This way the seeds will absorb the flavor of your drink as you sip it, or be a neat decoration to an otherwise boring appearance.
Hulling Squash Seeds
The process of hulling consists of cutting open the hard outer covering of the seed with a knife or a spoon. This exposes the soft fleshy insides of the seed.
Another way to hull butternut squash seeds is by cutting them into small pieces with your fingernail or a knife. Cutting through the shell, rather than removing it.
After cutting your seeds into small pieces, spread them out on a paper towel and leave them for at least 2 days for excess moisture to drip off of them. Especially if you plan to roast them.
Are Pepitas Edible?
Pepitas are pumpkin seeds commonly used in Mexican, Latin American, and Southwest cuisine. In Mexico, pepitas are used to make cookies, pastries, and sweet breads.
Very similar to squash seeds and other gourd seeds, they can be roasted and added to cornbread or other savory dishes.
In the Southwest, pepitas are added to smoothies and are eaten as a snack. Some people also add pepitas to their animal meat dishes for flavor and crunch.
Although the seeds look similar to pumpkin seeds, they’re not related. Depending on the variety, pepitas can be light in color or almost brown.
Each seed has a hard shell that surrounds the soft inner flesh. Inside the soft flesh is a white nutritional core covered by a tough outer shell.
Eating pepitas is common, and they can elevate some dishes just like the seeds of squash plants. Although they are generally easier to chew.