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Listen To Martha Stewart And Stop Tossing Butternut Squash Seeds

Martha Stewart smiling
Martha Stewart smiling - Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Butternut squash is an autumnal staple that finds its way into all manner of holiday season celebrations and harvest time meals, although its sweet flavor and easy freeze-ability make it a welcome crowd-pleaser all year round. But if you're going to go through the trouble of breaking down your orange veggie for a meal — whether now or in the future — you may be sleeping on a delicious by-product in the abundant little seeds within. And if Martha Stewart has anything to say about it, you won't make that mistake going forward. Instead, take this opportunity to create a snackable and versatile new treat by toasting those seeds to crunchy perfection.

Since you'll already be scraping them out to use the flesh of your squash, all you have to do is set these little bits aside and follow a few easy steps. In no time at all, you'll have a customizable and satisfying addition to so many of your favorite dishes — or a tasty snack all on its own.

Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid

Toasting To Perfection

Toasted squash seeds in bowl
Toasted squash seeds in bowl - Niko Natsuki/Shutterstock

To get started, you'll need to separate the seeds from the stringy stuff that keeps them secure inside their original vessel. A simple way to do this is to soak them in water, use your hands to separate some of the strands, and allow the seeds to naturally drift to the surface. From there, give them a quick drain and then boil for about ten minutes. After that, simply drain again and dry with a paper towel, and consider whether you prefer to keep a more natural flavor, or give them a little boost.

While these seeds will bring a pop of texture to any dish and are tasty purely as is with a delicate nuttiness, a few easy additions can really make them sing. Much like seasoning popcorn or nuts, these seeds respond well to so many flavor inspirations. You can go with something simple like salt and black pepper, give them a kick with cayenne, or even give a sweet seasonal spin by opting for a pumpkin spice profile.

Once seasoned, they'll be prepped and ready for their sauna in the oven. You'll want to make sure to spread them evenly in a single layer so you get a consistent roast. About 10 minutes at 280 degrees Fahrenheit should do the trick for your new treat.

Some Tasty Inspo For Your Toasted Squash Seeds

Bowl of squash bisque with squash seeds
Bowl of squash bisque with squash seeds - Elena Eryomenko/Shutterstock

Once you've got your seeds seasoned, crispy, and ready to go, you can decide how you want to enjoy them. They will be right at home in any application you might have otherwise included pumpkin seeds. Mix them into a trail mix along with your favorite dried fruits and nuts like cherries or bake them into moist and tender muffins for a little textural contrast.

When you want something more substantial, whip up a super flavorful side of roasted butternut squash with kale and cranberries, where these toasted seeds seamlessly deliver both taste and crunch. Garnish your next bowl of butternut squash soup, salad, or even toss some into your favorite guacamole for a little bite against your avocado's creaminess.

When you need a sweet pick-me-up in candy form, your roasted squash seeds will make an ideal brittle or a textural addition to your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe. With so many possibilities for your toasted seeds, you'll never want to toss them again.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.