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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.

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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, Winter

Easy Organic Marmalade Recipe

seville-orange-marmalade-recipe1
seville-orange-marmalade-recipe1

Looking for an easy organic marmalade recipe?  Try my very favourite recipe, that’s tried and tested and downright delicious.

There are a few things in life I don’t bother with.  Organic oranges are one of them.  I may be wrong, but my thinking is that the peel is probably too thick for pesticides to get through.  My one exception with oranges is when I’m cooking or baking with them and the recipe calls for the zest or peel of an orange. Then I’ll splash out on fancy organic oranges.

The other month I really fancied some marmalade and looked for some in the shops. The cheapest I could find for a jar of organic marmalade was £3, which felt a bit extravagant for me.  As we weren’t too far off of marmalade season I thought I would bide my time and make my own organic marmalade to make my money go further.  

And here we are – marmalade season!  I picked up some organic oranges and managed to make 9 jars of organic marmalade for £8. That’s less than 89p a jar!  Take that fancy shop-bought marmalade!

And I thought I’d share my organic marmalade recipe with you today.  It’s loosely adapted from this BBC Good Food recipe and I’ve found this to be the easiest way of making marmalade. There is no peeling, adding things to muslin bags, or fretting with a knife whilst trying to remove pith from the peel.  It is rather time-consuming though – it did take 3 hours – but it is a great way to while away a wet Saturday in winter.  Plus you’ll have enough jars of amber goodness to keep you smiling of a morning for quite some time to come, which makes it all worthwhile.

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Organic Marmalade Recipe

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Easy Organic Marmalade Recipe

This organic marmalade recipe has a bright and zingy taste to it, that will really help wake you up in the morning!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 8 – 10 jars

Ingredients

  • 1 kg of organic seville oranges
  • 2 kg of granulated sugar if you want organic sugar then I’d recommend Billington’s
  • The juice of one and a half lemons they don’t have to be organic
  • A large heavy bottomed pan cast iron or a preserve pan
  • Several jars and lids roughly 8-10 jars

Instructions

  1. Wash your oranges, then place them whole in a large pan alongside 4 pints of water and the lemon juice.
  2. Making sure the oranges are fully submerged (I used a pyrex casserole dish lid to weigh them down – see above!), bring it all to the boil then simmer for 2 hours, until the peel is soft and easily pierced with a fork. I found a lot of water boiled off at this stage so I kept topping it up to keep a consistent level of water.
  3. After two hours, carefully remove your oranges from the water (I used a spaghetti spoon) then leave to cool. Do not discard the water. At this point also set your oven to 170°C.
  4. Once the oranges are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and using a spoon scoop out as much of the pith and stones from each of the orange halves as you can. As it’s boiled for so long it should scoop out really easily. Place the pith and stones in a bowl and keep to the side.
  5. Using a sharp knife or kitchen scissors cut all of the orange skins into very fine strips. You’ll find this to be really quick and easy as the skin is so soft and thin.
  6. At this point you'll also want to sterilise your jars and lids (see this handy guide on how to sterilise jars.

  7. After you’ve sterilised your jars put all of the pith and stones in to the liquid, and boil for six minutes.
  8. Then sieve the liquid into a bowl using a fine sieve. Using a spoon press down on the pith so that as much liquid is squeezed out as possible into the bowl, then discard the pith, and return the liquid to the pan.
  9. Add the sugar to the liquid, and stir over a low heat until it’s all dissolved – this can take up to ten minutes. Once dissolved add your orange peel, stir well and bring to the boil.
  10. Let it boil (a rolling boil with lots of bubbles) for 15 minutes. I found I had to stir my mixture to stop the orange peel from burning to the bottom of the pan – the mixture will spit at you when you do this so do take extreme care and stand as well back as you can!
  11. Once 15 minutes is up, remove the pot from the heat and test to see if the marmalade has set. To do this, place a teaspoon of marmalade on a plate, and then place it in the fridge for a minute or two. If the marmalade is still runny after being in the fridge then return the pot to the heat and boil for another ten minutes, and repeat the test. Keep doing this – boiling for ten minutes then removing from the heat and testing – until it sets on the plate.
  12. Once set you may need to skim any scum from the surface using a spoon. Leave your marmalade to settle for 20 minutes (not on the heat). Then remove your jars from the oven and whilst the marmalade is still warm spoon it into the warm jars. This is messy business and the marmalade and jars can be very hot so do take care. Then before sealing with the sterilised lids be sure to clean the rims of the jars with a clean cloth.
  13. Stand back and admire your handiwork before enjoying a well deserved slice of marmalade on toast!
best-way-to-make-marmalade-recipe

I hope you enjoy this organic marmalade recipe!  What’s your favourite preserve?  Also, do you normally bother buying organic skinned fruit?  I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

And if you are big on oranges, then do try my cranberry and orange infused gin recipe. It’s a good one!