The gloppy, stringy mess that you scoop out with a spoon and throw away.
We’re gunna eat it!
Part of our journey into homesteading has been to increase our respect for where our food comes from. To utilize every part of the plant or animal and practice a no-waste lifestyle.
Well, as little waste as possible anyways…
This recipe is a prime example of that.
And let’s just think about this for a second. Why are we buying melons with our hard-earned dollars, or spending our precious time growing them in our gardens and throwing away the most nutritious part?! Silly, isn’t it? It isn’t like they are inedible or even bad tasting. The seeds are good, plus they full of nutrients.
The thought never even crossed my mind until recently. For 30 years of my life I’ve been eating melons and never once looked at the seeds and thought- “huh, I should eat these.” Have you had this thought? We eat pumpkin seeds… why not melon?
I wonder if people 100 years ago ate them. I would think they would have. I wonder when we (as a population) stopped eating melon seeds. Probably about the same time other nutrient-dense foods starting going out the window. When we quit eating lard, offal, and bone stock. When we traded homemade bread for Wonder bread and imperfect backyard apples for pristine shiny red ones. Is this just another example of how our food trends have changed over time?
I propose a melon-seed revival!
So how do oven-roasted melon seeds taste? Well, like nothing I’ve ever tasted before. A little sweet, crunchy, nutty and with a slight but distinct complex melon flavor. I thought about making a savory version as well, but after tasting these I am glad I didn’t. I used just a little honey, butter and vanilla to flavor mine, but I think they would be equally wonderful just plain with a touch of sea salt.
Eat them by the handful or add them to a homemade trail mix.
Try as a topping for yogurt, ice cream or salad.
I used the seeds from one honeydew and one cantaloupe (I mixed them together). I think that the honeydew seeds were the best. They were bigger and the seeds were more robust and seemed to have more of a crisp crunch than the cantaloupe seeds, which were flatter. Although both were very good.
I love using vanilla beans wherever I can. I think they provide kind of an earthy vanilla flavor. And those specks! I just love the way they look. Please don’t buy vanilla beans from the grocery store. You can buy them in bulk for waaay cheaper (affiliate). Just make sure you seal them up well and they will stay good and moist for over a year.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Cut the melons in half and scrape out the guts. Then separate the seeds from the stringy flesh. I just did this by hand… and it seemed tedious, but in reality only took about 5 minutes for both melons. Don’t worry if there are a few little pieces of melon flesh left with the seeds.
Tip: I scraped the guts out of the melons and then stored them in the fridge for a couple days before I had the time to roast them.
Set the seeds on a clean towel and blot them dry. The seeds will stick to the towel a little- but that’s okay. Use you hand or a spoon to scrape them off of the towel. I would be hesitant to use paper towel for this.
In a medium bowl mix together the melted butter, honey and vanilla bean seeds. Fold in the melon seeds and mix until they are all well coated.
Place the seeds onto a parchment lined baking pan and then sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Bake for 40-60 minutes, until dry and just barely starting to brown. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.
Have you eaten melon seeds before?
Do you try to use every last scrap of the food that crosses your kitchen counter?
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