Saturday, October 2, 2010

Less Waste Weekend

Last weekend I made two food projects from parts that are often over looked and thrown away. First, while preparing to bake and freeze a supply of Delicata squash, I saw the seeds and pulp that I dug out and wondered how they would taste. They must be like pumpkin seeds, right? Yeah, pretty much – and I like pumpkin seeds.

There are a variety of simple directions for baking squash seeds online. But, the most practical and energy efficient way that Bob and I found was to bake them along with the squash.

Here are the instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and pulp.
3. Clean up the seeds; it is fine to leave some small pieces of pulp attached. It actually adds to the flavor. But, I imagine that it reduces the shelf life. I don’t know this for a fact, because we ate them so quickly.
4. Pat seeds dry with a towel.
5. Mix 1 cup seeds with 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil and ½ teaspoon of salt (or to taste).
6. Spread them on a baking sheet (lined with foil if you prefer).
7. Bake them next to the squash for 10 – 15 minutes until they are slightly browned and beginning to pop.
8. Bake the squash open side down on a separate baking sheet until cooked through.

The seeds make a healthy, crunchy snack.

Second, I had a bunch of leafy celery. I cut the tops off and pulled off the leaves. Then, I rinsed them and let them air dry on a towel. After that I placed them in a basket and tossed them a few times per day until they were dry. We plan to use them in soups during the winter.

This weekend, it was time to do some seasonal decorating. I purchased two large pumpkins and plan to bake their seeds also. How do you waste less in the kitchen?

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