Sarah usually writes the cooking posts on our blog, but I think she’ll agree that this topic is meant for me. After all, it’s not really about recipes. It’s about seeds.
Sarah just posted her recipe for butternut squash with cranberries and spinach, and let me just say, that dish was superb. I ate half of it myself. No exaggeration. But I need to add that, every time anyone ever makes butternut squash, it is imperative that they save the seeds. Butternut squash seeds are a dish unto themselves, and trust me, this is one you don’t want to miss.
The seeds are a cinch to prepare. As you’re cleaning out the cavity of the squash, just plop the seeds (pulp and all, if you’re lazy) onto a cookie sheet. And then stick them in a 325°F oven for 5-10 minutes, until you hear them start popping. Remove, transfer to a bowl, and then help yourself. But be careful: you’re liable to eat them all.
Butternut squash seeds are nature’s potato chips. Seriously. I know you’re skeptical–Sarah still is. But that’s because she hasn’t tried them yet. With no added ingredients whatsoever, butternut squash seeds come out of the oven tasting as greasy and salty as Ruffles. And they’re just as addictive. Once you’ve tried them, you’ll be wondering why no one markets a butternut squash with double or triple the number of seeds inside. They will always leave you wanting more.
As I finished up the last of them the other night (huddled in a secret corner of the house, like a dog guarding his prized bone), I started wondering if maybe the human hankering after greasy, salty foods wasn’t just some arbitrary mistake of evolution. Could it be that nature actually wants us to be addicted to these things, to be always scavenging for more? This started to seem plausible when I realized that the things that fit this bill in nature, at least in the plant world, are pretty much just one thing: seeds. Seeds are where the fat is in the plant kingdom. And, as it happens, where a lot of other essential nutrients are. Seeds are storehouses of everything needed to get a new plant life going, and our bodies benefit enormously from consuming them. Maybe this is what our taste buds had in mind?
Whatever the ultimate explanation for it, I say embrace your love for potato chips. But do your body a favor and embrace nature’s pre-made version. They’ve got way more nutrition. And they’re absurdly easy to prepare. (Well, once you get the butternut squash open.)