Friday, August 27, 2010

Toasted Watermelon Seeds

All week I've been posting for the blogathon to celebrate Farmers Market Week here in Massachusetts... for more info about the blogathon see my previous posts this week. Unfortunately due to packing I couldn't post every day like I had hoped, but there are some good ones from earlier this week, check 'em out! There comes a time in every young amateur chef’s life when she asks: “Am I doing this right?” For me that moment came today when a watermelon seed exploded, startled me and sent me jumping backwards stepping into my cat’s water dish. “WHAT?!” you are probably saying. I guess I should backtrack and start at the beginning….

I received a watermelon in this week’s Enterprise Farm farm share. I immediately ate half of it for lunch. I like watermelons. It runs in my family. When I was younger my sister and dad used to have “Watermelon Club” after dinner where they would each indulge in many slices each. Sometimes I participated but I was much more of an ice cream girl.

Watermelon seeds drying on the window sill
While eating my watermelon lunch I wondered to myself: Are watermelon seeds good for anything other than spitting at your little sister when she’s not looking? Can you eat them? This led me to Ye Olde Trusty Google. You can eat the seeds! In fact, it’s part of Egyptian culture to roast the seeds and eat them. Watermelons are native to Egypt? Who knew.

I saved the seeds from my half of already eaten watermelon and decide to chop up the remaining half and remove the seeds from there as well. This left me with a little handful seeds. The whole process seemed relatively easy. Step 1: Wash. Step 2: Dry. I patted them with a paper towel (which they stuck to) and then decided to spread them out on a plate and sit them on my windowsill in the sun. Success.

Step 3: This is where things got tricky. Heat a pan and place the seeds in the pan. Stir them around until their roasted. How was I supposed to know when they were thoroughly roasted? I figured I would give it the old eyeball test. After a few minutes they looked pretty good. Then POP! One of the seeds shot off of the pan and directly at my face! POP POP! Two more seeds! It was sort of like popcorn. I took that as a sign to mean they were done roasting.

Step 4: Pour a cup of salty water into the pan and boil and stir around until it all evaporates. I made a bit of a mess here, there was no indication for how much salt and I figured the more salt the better… they’re supposed to be salty, right? Fail. I ended up with some seeds and salty sludge. So I tried again by removing some of the salt and adding more water and trying all over again. Success. No gross clumps of burnt salt this time.

Step 5: Cool and dry. Then enjoy!

I ate one of the seeds fresh out of the watermelon and I’ll say it wasn’t bad. Though roasted salty watermelon seeds were pretty good they really just tasted like a salty, toasty, drier version of the former. But isn’t that what all seeds taste like anyway? They tasted a bit like if pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds merged. One website told me you’re supposed to bite off the exterior in your mouth to get to the inside meat but that was just way too much work for me so I ate the whole thing as is which was pretty good without all that effort. I suppose I might try this again, but more likely I’ll make “seed adventure number 2” happen when I receive a pumpkin later in the season -- even though I find the insides of a pumpkin kind of icky.

Word of advice: Go easy on the salt, you don't need much. I wish I had something fun to eat these with like baking them into muffins or a salad on the horizons to toss these into. I guess i'll just eat them on their own, still good! :)



  1. This is a hoot. I must admit, I would never have thought of eating the seeds. (They are AWFULLY fun to spit.) Thanks!

  2. This is awesome. We are definitely trying this with our CSA watermelon.

  3. There are actually recipes online for eating the rind too if you want to get really creative and eco-friendly!

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