Yes, you can roast leftover watermelon seeds and they're an interesting delight | Food | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Yes, you can roast leftover watermelon seeds and they're an interesting delight

click to enlarge Watermelon seeds in their roasted form. - CP PHOTO: HANNAH LYNN
CP photo: Hannah Lynn
Watermelon seeds in their roasted form.
It's been a long and hot summer under quarantine, but there are still ripe and juicy watermelons to enjoy. And I recently discovered even more ways to enjoy them. 

This morning, while chomping down on some watermelon I cut up last night (cold, with lime juice squeezed over), I was getting annoyed about all the black seeds. There are just so many, and eating around all of them was cutting down on my watermelon enjoyment time (by like, five seconds). I googled "watermelon seeds" thinking maybe there'd be some tips on how to cut watermelon to avoid the most amount of seeds. I didn't find that, but I did learn that you can save all the watermelon seeds instead of spitting them in the trash (or back into the same bowl you're eating from, if you're feral like me) and roast them like you would pumpkin or sunflower seeds. And they have a satisfying nuttiness like most roasted seeds.
click to enlarge So many seeds, so little time. - CP PHOTO: HANNAH LYNN
CP Photo: Hannah Lynn
So many seeds, so little time.
I looked down at my bowl, a combination of watermelon juice, seeds, and leftover rind, and figured it was worth a shot, even if I didn't have that many seeds. When I searched for recipes on how to roast the seeds, most called for letting them dry out for a while, then roasting them with olive oil and salt.

Many recipes called for a cup of watermelon seeds, which seems like it would be a huge watermelon. I had a small melon, so about ¼ cup of seeds max. I rinsed the seeds and let them sit out on a paper towel for about an hour.
click to enlarge Some wet ass seeds drying out. - CP PHOTO:
CP Photo:
Some wet ass seeds drying out.
Then I tossed them in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (way too much, as you can see they are little greasy boys in the photos) and salt. Half a tablespoon would suffice for these many seeds. After placing the seeds on a baking sheet, they went into the oven at 325 degrees for about 15-16 minutes (though they could have gone 2-3 minutes less to avoid them being overly crunchy).


I was nervous to taste them, because what if they were awful, and then what? I would be less inclined to write about the experience for work. But the seeds were indeed tasty. They had a nuttiness similarly to pumpkin seeds, and also that distinct seed flavor that can only be described as "seed-y." 
click to enlarge The seeds get their close-up. - CP PHOTO: HANNAH LYNN
CP Photo: Hannah Lynn
The seeds get their close-up.
They came out a little hard, so I would give them a few minutes less in the oven next time, but otherwise they made for a crunchy and interesting snack. I would definitely make them again next time I have a watermelon. Quarantine has made me much more aware of using as much of an ingredient as possible, because I know that I'm grocery shopping less frequently and want to squeeze as much use as possible out of something. 

You can also buy a one pound bag of watermelon seeds for $6.99 on nuts.com, but that's much less fun.

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