Pepitas

Squash, though in season during the fall, has become a year round treat. Roasted butternut and spaghetti squashes have become immensely popular, and of course the smaller yellow and zucchini squashes are a handy partner in many a good dish.

Spaghetti squash has become a particular favorite of mine, with my top choice being Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust. Turning unhealthy foods into good options is fun. But when I make it, I tend to throw out the seeds. Why not come up with a better use?



I roasted a pumpkin recently, and decided to take out the seeds. Pepita is the Spanish term for squash seed, and is how you will find roasted pumpkin seeds at the grocery.

Making them is a breeze. For my first roasting attempt, I decided to make 2 variations: a sweet and a savory. I'd made Toasted Sesame Seeds and Almonds a while back when I made Koliva, so I had a good idea of what I was doing.

Before roasting the pumpkin, I cut it in half and scooped out the guts. The seeds are all attached, so though most come off easy, some take a little bit of effort. I put the seeds in a bowl of salt water and baked the pumpkin as I would any squash.

A friend had suggested the salt water trick, noting that it removes bitterness. So, after 24 hours, I took the seeds out and spread them onto two baking sheets lined with foil (This was a big pumpkin so there were tons). I set the oven to 400 degrees F and roasted them for about 10 minutes to dry them out.


I then seasoned the two batches. For the savory one, I tossed them in some avocado oil and then sprinkled on paprika and chili powder. No salt was needed since they were already soaking.

For the sweeter option, I tossed the seeds in coconut oil and then added some brown sugar and cinnamon. Then, I popped those trays right back in the oven for another 10 minutes. I stirred them halfway through so they wouldn't burn. They became a little bit of a golden brown color.


Aaaand that was it. No more to it.


I really loved the sweet one, but then again I am a sucker for desserts. The savory was good, too, though not too spicy. A dash of cayenne might be a good addition to the seasoning mix. For an easy snack, these are great. And if you are making squash anyway, talk about a perfect way to use it all.

Pepitas Recipe


Ingredients:

For the savory seeds:
1-2 tablespoons avocado oil
1-2 teaspoons paprika
1-2 teaspoons chili powder

For the sweet seeds:
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
1-2 teaspoons brown sugar
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon

Instructions:

Remove seeds from squash and place in a bowl of salt water. Soak for 24 hours, then spread onto baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and add seasonings. Continue baking for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.

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