For years I have avoided winter squash like the plague but this year I am forced to grow them. Winter squash has more fibrous skin than summer Squash does; its skin is firmer as well and so requires to cook longer. The seeds when harvested are fully grown, whereas in summer squash must be left on the bush well past the ripening season to complete the growth of its squash seed. Once harvested, I immediately put the mush inside my freezer to freeze for the time being and then store in a container.
I used some cooking oil to rub the seeds with before I placed them into their containers. The next step in the preparation process was to rinse the seeds with warm salt water. This was done twice, once before and after rinsing with the cooking oil. The seeds should be rinsed well to remove all the salt that may have been present when they were picked. Then all that was needed was to let them soak for about two hours. Then a salad spinner will serve perfectly for the quick and easy preparation.
Now it was time to place the seeds in a glass or ceramic tray lined with paper towels. Any good sprays of vegetable oil or salad oils will do. Sprinkle some table salt and pepper to prepare the sprout for what is to come. When the first sprouts appear to look closely at them, you will notice that they are quite small and almost dry. You can use your fingers to squeeze a little water from them, if they hold their shape.
Now for the fun part, the butternut squash harvest. The butternut has two main parts: the butternut casing and the flesh of the fruit. The smaller, lighter flesh can be used for salads, soups, and finger snacks while the more solid casing can be used in cooking and baking. The last ten days of winter squash seeds will have to go through a process that will help them develop a fuller, crisper texture and taste.
The best way to get started is to harvest your squash every ten days. The seeds will fill up in this time between harvesting and storage. If you have extra pumpkin seeds or butternut seeds, store them, too. It will take about 110 days for the seeds to germinate and grow. This gives you plenty of time to prepare delicious fall recipes using the delicious winter squash seeds.
One great way to utilize the winter squash seeds is to add them to your fall soup recipes. Pumpkin seed soup makes a thick soup that is rich in taste and healthy. The addition of the kabocha seeds brightens up the soup and gives it a unique flavor. Kabocha seeds and salt make a delicious combination that you will surely enjoy.
Many people also enjoy the flavor of their pumpkin seeds mixed with butternut squash seeds. Pumpkin seed soup is a favorite among those with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer patients. There are different brands of the salt mix available, including some made with butternut seeds and others made with the kabocha variety of pumpkin seed. Each brand has its own benefits and uses, so the first step is to find out what brand is the best. Salt and pepper shakers are an excellent way to add the seeds to soups and stews.
You can purchase viable seeds from your local garden center or online. When buying the seeds, make sure they are described as viable. A viable seed will survive the freezing temperatures and survive the wild bird strikes. Once you have purchased your viable seeds, store them in a cool, dark place. After the first few freezing winter months, you will be able to re-pulch your plants to harvest the following year's berries.