Vanilla Cardamom Roasted Squash Seeds
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It’s early November and still roasting pumpkin seeds here! I saw the last remnants of pie pumpkins available at New Seasons this last weekend. Which is by far my favorite grocery store in the PNW. So of course I bought them even though that was not at all the reason why I was there. Talk about impulse buying…
Unfortunately pumpkin season is pretty much over in the US. So chances are this post is a little late for many of you. But don’t despair! The good news is that you can roast more than just pumpkin seeds. Almost any winter squash will do. In fact, the only exception I’ve found so far is turban squash. Those are some weird looking seeds!
But if you are sitting on a butternut, acorn, spaghetti, or other similar variety; those seeds are just as good as pumpkin. And what a great way to keep your food waste down, make the most of your money, and utilize zero waste cooking principles!
So without further ado, here is my newest roasted squash seed recipe with vanilla and cardamom! These roasted squash seeds are plant-based, simple, sweet, and so addictive!
Best Oven-Roasted Method
Have you been navigating through the countless roasted pumpkin or squash seeds recipes? Then you know that there are so many different recipes for roasting these bad boys. Which I find surprising considering how basic the process is.
And while I’m sure many of them are just as good as the next, I have found one that is by far the best method for roasting basic squash seeds. This method uses a lower oven temperature that gets those seeds crispy without burning them. It’s a great way to roast huge batches of seeds all as once. Then you can season them as many different ways as you want without having start from the beginning again. Trust me when I say this will save you so much time!
While I can claim credit for the seasonings, unfortunately, I cannot claim credit for the method. That goes to The Joy of Cooking (affiliate link) by Irma S. Rombauer. Seriously if you aren’t familiar with The Joy of Cooking; you are missing out on one of the best, most comprehensive, and basic cookbooks out there.
Don’t have the book? No worries! I’ve got the bullet points.
Tips for Perfect Squash Seeds That Are Zero Waste
- To start with, don’t wash your seeds. Seriously don’t do it. I pull out the big chunks of stringy goop but leave the rest as is. It may seem off putting but this stuff is completely edible. This will save you the time and hassle of washing and drying. And it also imparts a bit of flavor to the seeds.
- Use a lower oven temperature with a longer baking time. The sweet spot temperature is 250F or 121C. It does require a little bit longer baking time but the results are worth it. The seeds get a wonderful crispness without any burning or charred.
- Do not put seasonings on them for the basic roasting time. When you are just roasting the squash seeds, don’t use any seasoning. That comes later (in Bane’s voice). Just add a little oil, spread them your baking sheet, and roast.
- This recipe is for seeds with the shells on. It has been brought to my attention from readers outside the US that not everyone roasts squash seeds with the shells on. If you are one of those folks that prefer to roast hulled seeds, this recipe might not work for you. However, if you are willing to try roasting with the shell on, it is completely edible. In fact, shelled seeds have twice as much fiber. The only downside is that they may upset folks with digestive issues like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
- Use a light oil that can stand temperatures up to 350F (177C). I have found lighter oils with a neutral flavor work best for squash seeds. My favorites are melted coconut oil for sweet seeds and avocado or olive oil for savory. But any other light vegetable oil will do if those are not your preferred cooking oils.
- Parchment paper isn’t necessary for this. For the sake of the environment, I do not use parchment paper and just wash the tray afterward. Most parchment paper is not compostable and is covered with silicone to give it that non-stick property. Plus, most white parchment paper is bleached which just dumps more chemicals into our water. If you do prefer to keep your clean up time down (and I don’t blame you for that), please use a silicone baking mat (affiliate link) instead. These will save you a ton of money in the end too. Short of that, please use an eco-friendly brand like If You Care (affiliate link).
- This recipe uses coconut sugar. For more sustainable ingredients please use coconut sugar. It has a few health benefits that cane sugar lacks. But more importantly, coconut sugar is a much more sustainable sweetener than cane sugar. According to WWF, sugarcane is one of the most destructive crops on the planet. This crop is greatly responsible for loss of biodiversity, deforestation, and destruction of coral reefs. It also needs a lot of water to grow. In fact, it takes about 9 gallons of water to get 1 teaspoon of sugar. Because of this, I am trying to trade out all of my recipe to use coconut sugar or another sweetener instead. But with that being said, you can substitute it out for brown sugar at the same amount if you desire.
Ok. I think that sums it all up. Let’s roast some seeds!
Love all things pumpkin or other winter squash and roasted seeds? So do we! You might want to check out our spicy maple roasted pumpkin seeds (v), spiced pumpkin shrimp soup, pumpkin muffins (v), and pumpkin hummus (v)!
v – vegan
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to see your awesome creation! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to hashtag a photo on Instagram #sustainablesauceresses!
Or if you have any questions or feedback, you are always welcome to leave me a comment below. I’d really love to hear from you!
Vanilla Cardamom Roasted Squash Seeds
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Quarter or Half- Sized baking tray
- Spoon or Spatula
- Mixing Bowl
- 1 cup unwashed squash seeds
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 2 tbsp maple syrup dark (formerly grade B)
- ½ tsp. coconut sugar
- ½ tsp. cardamom, ground
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon, ground
- ¼ tsp. pink himalayan or sea salt
Roasting Basic Squash Seeds
- Preheat oven to 250F or 121C.
- In a small mixing bowl, add seeds and oil. Mix thoroughly.
- Spread coated seeds out in a single layer on the baking tray with or without a silicone mat.
- Bake for 1 to 1¼ hours or until a light brown.
Vanilla Cardamom Squash Seeds
- Turn the oven up to 350F or 177C.
- Transfer seeds back to the mixing bowl.
- Add maple, salt, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla. Stir well.
- Spread seeds back out in a single layer on the baking sheet with or without a silicone mat.
- Bake for 10 mins.
- Immediately transfer to a plate, tray, or cooling rack (if using a silicone mat) to cool. Once completely cool the clumps should break apart easily.
- Store in a sealed container. Will keep up to a week maybe longer. Best eaten within 3 days.
Did you give this recipe a try?