I was thinking of re-inventing myself and the name associated with this blog. Over the past weeks I have attempted to cook pigs feet (and failed, but I will try again), rendered normally thrown out animal fat, used bruised fruit for baking, made broth from chicken feet and now have saved squash seeds from the compost, creating a deliciously crunchy snack. The challenge of finding ways to get the most out the food I bring home is a what keeps my freak flag flying in the kitchen and is the original inspiration for this platform. “Practically Empty Pantry” sums up my experience in the kitchen, our experience as local eaters in Ontario where options of local food are limited, and will remain the title of this blog.
Saving squash seeds to toast and top my soup with is an added luxury I have because of time, curiosity of the supposedly inedible, and a drive to make use of every bit of food I have purchased.
Curiosity is the key component to most of my experiments, and has led me down multiple rabbit holes of age old recipes that praise all the funky bits of food we now throw out. Every year at Halloween, families all over Canada carve out pumpkins, save the seeds, toast them with spices and munch on the. Every year, families all over Canada also cook squash for dinner and throw out the seeds. Pumpkins, butternut squash, acorn squash, or whatever, are all from the same family. So why can’t we toast and eat the seeds of all the squash types? I took this question to the test with a mystery squash gifted to me from a friend’s garden and it was DELICIOUS!
Toasted Winter Squash Seeds:
- Rinse seeds, pulling off any excess squash goop to the best of your ability
- Leave in colander overnight to dry out a bit (if you skip this step, they will just take a bit longer in the oven, and the oil might not stick as well)
- Toss in oil and season with salt, spices of your choice
- Bake at 300 until nice and toasted (about 30 minutes)
- If the squash seeds are larger, they may need more time to dehydrate. If they are brown but still watery on the inside when you bite them, drop the oven temp to 200 and leave in for another 10 minutes.