Toasted Autumn Seeds
Are you looking for something to do with leftover squash seeds? Each year when I harvest the pumpkins and butternut, we end up with more than enough seeds to save, share, and trade with others.
Another idea to do with those seeds is to make toasted seeds to snack on. They are simple and easy, as well as tasty.
First, rinse the seeds well. Then strain them. I will remove all the large chunks of strings, but some of the thinner ones also are tasty when they are done toasting. I often leave a few of those behind. Once drained, allow them to air dry just a little, then drizzle with EVOO or melted butter. Just enough to lightly coat the seeds. I stress lightly because the batch I did in the photos had a bit too much oil on them. They WERE tasty, but very greasy! They wouldn't last long before the oils could go rancid.
Carefully stir the oil throughout to fully coat the seeds. Then sprinkle with a little sea salt.
Spread evenly on a cookie sheet that has a rim all the way around so the seeds don't slide off into the oven when you are place them in or removing them from the oven.
Place them into a 300 degree F preheated oven, on the middle rack. Toast the seeds until crisp and lightly browned. This could take from 20-45 minutes depending on dampness of seeds. Be careful to stir them every 10-15 minutes to toast evenly.
Allow to cool, and store in a cool dry place for up to 6 weeks.
These seeds are NOT good snacking for children or those with an inability to chew fully. Best for adults only. Not all seeds are safe for consumption. We only use pumpkin and butternut seeds.
Roasted vegetables are one of the easiest side dishes to make. They are simple enough to make for one, two, three or more people. It is one of the recipes I wish that I had known about back when I was trying to teach my mom how to cook for one after dad had died.
What you need is simple, too. Raw vegetables such as carrots, turnips, onion, asparagus, whole green beans, cherry tomatoes, pepper slices or chunks, and of course the traditional potato. These are available in every variety you can imagine from dark blue or purple, to red, and yellow potatoes. If you are a traditionalist a simple bag of regular potatoes will do.
I find that carrots roast better when they are on the larger size, while all the others are much more flexible. However, I will mention here that asparagus is much better roasted when it is on the smaller size, plus asparagus and the green beans do not take as long as some of the root vegetables might.
You will need your favorite oil - we prefer EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). However, melted butter does also impart a WONDERFUL flavor as well. But it does tend to scorch a bit at the higher temperatures.
Salt, pepper, and herbs of every variety, including herb blends like Italian seasoning, Garam Masala, or even Cajun seasoning blends work wonderful.
Next you will wash all your produce. Enough for a serving size for each person. For the two of us, I would use about 3-4 carrots per person, or 6-8 large carrots.
I don't peel the vegetables, except for turnips and, of course, onions. Slice the carrots on the diagonal to make bite sized slices, about 1/4 inch thick. For other root vegetables, potatoes, turnips and onions, for example, Slice about 1/4 inch thick slices. If necessary with the turnips and potatoes, cut the slices into thirds or quarters, for bite sized pieces. Smaller potatoes are very nice to use for this because you can just cut them into slices.
Toss the vegetable slices into a bowl deep enough to toss them with oil and herbs. Drizzle with oil of choice, just enough to coat the veggies. Gently toss them to coat evenly. Then sprinkle with spices and herbs.
I like to choose an herbal mix that matches our meal for the evening. Having a curry? Use a Garam masala spice or Harissa mix. Seafood? Make some "crab" veggies by tossing with some Old Bay Seasoning. These ARE Kosher, too, because there is NO seafood in the Old Bay. Tonight we are having Cajun Stuffed Chicken thighs and some cajun rice. If I were making roasted veggies tonight I would either use the Cajun spice mix, OR for a little variety, simply some garlic and paprika. Use your imagination - especially if you are planning to use these roasted vegetables as a nice afternoon snack.
Next, evenly spread the veggie slices onto a baking sheet with a low side. You don't want the oils to drip down into your oven and cause the smoke alarms to go off!! Place the baking sheet into a 400 to 425 degree PREHEATED oven (I prefer 425), on either the top rack or the second one down. This may depend on how close your heating elements are to the top rack setting. Bake for 15-25 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned.
Serve immediately. And Enjoy!
Fresh vegetables of choice (carrots, turnips, onion, asparagus, whole green beans, cherry tomatoes, pepper slices or chunks, and of course the traditional potato)
Herbs and Spices
Oil of choice (EVOO, Avocado oil, etc.)
Wash produce. Cut into servings size pieces (asparagus into spears, green beans trimmed ends, peppers into long-wise slices or chunks, 1/4 inch slices of root veggies). Place pieces into bowl large enough to toss. Drizzle with oil, toss. Sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper and toss. Spread onto baking sheet, and bake 400-425 for 15-25 minutes, until cooked and lightly browned. Serve hot! Enjoy.
Judith has over 30 years experience in food storage, herbs, essential oils, and prepping. She was a captain in the USAF-AUX, FEMA trained, Community Emergency Response Team member and NRA marksmanship award recipient. She shares her experiences with her readers offering tips and recipes.
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