Alright, Green Monsters — it’s time. The weather is getting chilly, PSLs are popping up in cafes, and winter squash is now present at farmers markets. We think it’s safe to say that we can finally embrace fall and all the good that comes with it. If you’ve never given a second thought to the seeds you scoop out of those winter squashes and gourds, now’s the time to stop throwing those seeds into the landfill, and start using them in delicious recipes.

Not only are squash seeds tasty, they’re also good for you! Pumpkin seeds, in particular, are rich in iron, magnesium, zinc, and healthy fats. They have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. They can also be used to add a little more protein to your soups and salads.

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So, which winter squash seeds can you eat? All of them! Pumpkin, acorn, butternut, spaghetti, and kabocha are just some examples. The more obscure types (such as, say, carnival or delicata) also have edible seeds. Most squash seeds have a nutty flavor that becomes even more pronounced upon roasting. Roasted seeds store well, for up to a year, and can last even longer when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Plus, they’re great for snacking!

Roasting Squash Seeds

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To roast the seeds, remove the seeds from the center of your squash. They will be covered with a sticky pulp — wash this off as best as you can, then pat dry. Preheat your oven to 300°F and spread them out in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the tray from the oven, toss the seeds, and add a drizzle of oil. At this time, if you like, you can add any spices you like. Here are a few ideas:

Cinnamon sugar seeds: Toss the seeds with cinnamon and your preferred type of sugar, such as brown sugar, coconut sugar, or date sugar

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Smoky squash seeds: Toss the seeds with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika

Jamaican “jerk” pumpkin seeds: Toss the seeds with ground pimento (allspice), ginger, thyme, and nutmeg

If you’re planning on hulling the roasted seeds, this step is not necessary. Return the tray to the oven and bake for 20 more minutes. And, that’s it! Now you can enjoy the seeds as a snack or hull them and use them in the recipes below.

Ideas for Squash Seeds

Looking for more ideas on how to use your roasted seeds? We searched the Food Monster App and found the perfect recipes:

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Add Them to Granola

Pumpkin seeds are a great seed to add to your granola, like this Matcha Granola by Alex Edmonson. Tossed with matcha powder and a bit of vanilla extract, this granola has tons of good-for-you ingredients like almonds, cashews, pecans, as well as hemp, chia, and pumpkin seeds. Your morning bowl of oatmeal just got a little more exciting!

Make Energy BitesRunner Recovery Bites

Roasted seeds are a great addition to energy bites and bars, like these Runner Recovery Bites by Kimmy Murphy. These little bite-sized snacks will seriously hit the spot. They have carbs, protein, and a bit of sweetness to them. They can be eaten after any type of exercise. Or no exercise at all!

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Use Them As a Topping For…Everything!Creamy Pumpkin Risotto with Sweet and Spicy Roasted Pepitas [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Use squash seeds to top soups, salads, pasta, and more. This Creamy Pumpkin Risotto by Liz Moody is topped with pumpkin seeds that have been roasted in a skillet with maple syrup and chili powder.

To learn more about the benefits of pumpkin seeds, read Why Everyone Should Add Pumpkin Seeds to Their Diet.

If you’re looking for more delicious and seasonal plant-based recipes, then we highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!

Lead image source: Creamy Pumpkin Risotto

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