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Food & Drink

Food & Drink, Food Waste Tips, Winter

How to Make Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds

roasted-butternut-squash-seeds

Today let me show you how to make roasted butternut squash seeds as well as some fun savoury and sweet variations on them.

I’m always on the lookout for healthy snack ideas, and plastic-free snack ideas, as well as clever tips to reduce food waste.

The other week I was preparing one of my favourite winter vegetables, the butternut squash, for roasting.  As I was scooping out the seeds, I got wondering.   Could you, instead of composting them, like I normally do, roast the seeds, as you would do for pumpkin seeds?  I gave it a go, sprinkling some oil, paprika, and salt on them, and lo and behold, roasted butternut squash seeds.  I wanted to show you how to make them today.  They make a super tasty savoury snack that’s good for you, and so cheap it’s practically free!

roasted-butternut-squash-seeds

The seed yield from butternut squash isn’t that high.  It’s about enough for one person.  Therefore it’s not really worth using your oven just to cook the seeds.  If you’re not roasting your butternut squash then pop the seeds in a sealed container in the fridge and they’ll store for up to three days until you next use your oven.

healthy-snack-ideas

How to Make Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds

Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds

Roasted butternut squash seeds make for a really tasty and healthy snack idea. They can be coated in a variety of ways – savoury or sweet, and are a great way to use seeds that would otherwise go to waste.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • One butternut squash
  • 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt depending on your taste

Instructions

  1. Scoop out the seeds from the butternut squash, like you would normally do.
  2. Try and remove as much of the butternut squash flesh and stringy bits from the seeds as possible. Don’t worry if you can’t remove every last bit, just as much as you can.
  3. Give your seeds a good rinse and then pat them dry with some kitchen towel.
  4. Place the seeds on a baking dish and add the oil, paprika and salt. Mix well so the oil and seasoning coat the seeds fairly evenly.
  5. Arrange the seeds in a fine layer, so that not too many seeds are on top of each other, and roast for about 12-15 minutes in roughly a 180°C oven. Give them a stir half way through so as not to burn them. (If you’re cooking something at a hotter temperature just keep an eye on them and be prepared to remove from the oven sooner)
  6. You’ll hear the seeds popping as they cook – don’t be alarmed! You can tell they’re done when they look a bit brown and crispy on the outside.
how to roast butternut squash seeds

You can store your roasted butternut squash seeds in an airtight jar for up to a week.  Be warned – mine never last that long! I ate all of mine whilst writing this post…!

There are heaps of variations you could do to roasted butternut squash seeds.  Plain salt, chili, rosemary, cumin, or cinnamon are all ones that spring to mind to make tasty healthy snacks.  Alternatively, if you wanted something a bit sweet then vanilla sugar, soft brown sugar, honey, or a touch of maple or golden syrup would all work very well!

A bag of seeds, especially ones made for snacking, can be found in shops for around the £1 mark.  By making a snack out of something you might otherwise throw away, it’s about as thrifty as you can get!

Do you have any other ideas for leftover butternut squash seeds?  I’d love to hear them   Do share in the comments below!  There’s a bit of a debate as to whether you can plant seeds from shop-bought butternut squashes.  Have you ever tried this?  Did it work?

PS: do check out my vegan and vegetarian slow cooker recipes – there’s lots of good stuff you can make with butternut squash in there.

Food & Drink, Kitchen Staples

22 Clever Ingredient Substitutes for Healthier Baking

vegan alternatives

Are you looking for clever ingredient substitutes for healthier baking? I’ve got 22 great alternatives that will boost the nutrient count of your bakes, without compromising on flavour.

You know sometimes when you’re browsing things on the internet, and you get sucked into an internet black hole? And you end up reading things on a completely different topic than when you first started out?  Or is that just me?!  Well, there I was on Sunday, browsing away and I stumbled upon a great infographic on healthier recipe ingredient substitutes for when you’re baking.  The authors say “healthy” but I would say “healthier”, just to be pedantic!

The infographic is especially useful if you’re vegan and/or gluten-free and looking for ideas for ingredient substitutes as a lot of the baking swaps (although not all) are for vegan and/or gluten-free foodstuffs.

NB: The original infographic goes into a bit more detail about why the baking substitutions work and some tips for using them:

Clever Ingredient Substitutes for Healthier Baking

healthy sugar substitutions baking
healthy vegan egg substitutions
vegan alternatives to butter
healthy baking tips
healthy flour starch substitutions baking

If you’re using a text reader to read this article, then I will set out below the text:

Healthier Substitutes to Sugar

  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce instead of 1 cup of sugar. For every cup of applesauce you use, reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1 quarter cup.
  • One half teaspoon of vanilla extract instead of 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  • One teaspoon of liquid stevia, or 2 tablespoons of stevia powder instead of 1 cup of sugar.

Vegan Alternatives to Eggs

  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and 1 cup of water, left to sit for 15 minutes is a substitute for one egg.
  • Alternatively, 1 tablespoon of flax meal and 3 tablespoons of water, left to sit for 5 to 10 minutes is also a substitute for one egg.

Healthier Baking Alternatives to Butter or Oil

  • Half a cup of unsweetened applesauce and half a cup of fat instead of one cup of butter or oil.
  • 3/4 cup of prunes and 1/4 cup boiling water, blended, is a substitute for one cup of butter.
  • 1 cup of pureed avocado is a substitute for one cup of butter.
  • 3 tablespoons of flax meal and 1 tablespoon of water, left to sit for 5 – 10 minutes, is a substitute for one tablespoon of butter.
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of chia seeds, and one cup of water, left to sit for around 15 minutes is a healthier vegan baking substitute for one cup of butter.
  • 1 cup of mashed banana can be substituted for one cup of oil or butter.

Healthier Cake Fillings & Toppings

  • 1 cup of fluff instead of 1 cup of icing.
  • Substitute 1 cup of natural peanut butter instead of reduced-fat peanut butter.
  • 1 cup of meringue instead of 1 cup of icing.
  • Use 1 cup of evaporated skimmed milk instead of 1 cup of double cream.
  • Crush 1 cup of Graham Crackers instead of 1 cup of crushed cookies.
  • 1 cup of cocoa nibs instead of 1 cup of chocolate chip cookies.

Flour & Starch Alternatives

  • 1 cup of pureed black beans instead of one cup of flour.
  • 1/4 cup of nut flour, or 1 cup of nut flour plus 1/2 teaspoon of a raising agent instead of 1 cup of flour
  • 1/3 cup of coconut flour plus 1 extra egg per ounce of coconut flour plus a dash of extra water instead of 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of wholewheat flour in place of 1 cup of flour
  • 3/4 cup of brown rice cereal plus 2 tablespoons of flax meal instead of 1 cup of Rice Krispies.

What do you think about these healthier baking ideas? I haven’t heard many good things about using stevia in place of sugar so I am dubious about that one. Meanwhile, the idea of a cake iced in marshmallow fluff doesn’t especially appeal (although it is vegetarian, surprisingly). However, some of the other suggestions sound pretty good.  

I’d like to give the chia seeds in place of an egg a try, and I for one am especially intrigued by the idea of using black beans in place of flour in chocolate brownies!  It sounds a bit out there, but I am itching to give it a go just to try it!  Would you do it?  Or have you tried it?  Did it work?  Was it tasty?  I’m all ears!