How to Roast and Eat Watermelon Seeds (Plus, All the Health Benefits)

All those seeds you’ve been throwing out actually make a delicious snack.

Photo: Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images

When it comes to watermelons, chances are you’re wasting perfectly good food every time you take a juicy bite. First, the white part of the rind is totally edible. You can chop it up to throw in a stir-fry or pickle the rind for a delicious snack. But the real health surprise comes within the peskiest part of a watermelon—the seeds. Watermelon seeds have almost every nutrient you can name—protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, says Elizabeth Somer, R.D.N., the author of Eat Your Way to Happiness. “Why toss away something that’s so good for you when they taste great?” she says. “The seeds are rich in vitamin E—one of the nutrients many people don’t get enough of—and phytonutrients, which some tend to be lacking in.” Plus, they add visual appeal and crunch to dishes, she points out.

And the taste? Pleasantly nutty. Cook seeds in a hot pan with cooking spray and seasonings for two to five minutes, or roast them with the recipe below from Affairs of Living. (Or you could even buy them pre-roasted from nuts.com.) Toss watermelon seeds into salads and granolas and on toasts, or just eat ’em straight.

Oven-Roasted Watermelon Seeds

Ingredients

  • Watermelon seeds
  • Olive oil or melted ghee or other oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces (optional)
  • Spices to taste: ground black pepper, cumin, cayenne, paprika, herb blends, etc.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325° Fahrenheit. Rinse watermelon seeds and soak for 2 hours in salted water. Drain, pat dry, and remove as much leftover watermelon goo as possible.
  2. Place seeds in a large oven-proof glass or heavy metal baking dish. Drizzle with oil and stir to coat thoroughly, then sprinkle with salt, spices, herbs, etc. and tiny pieces of butter, if using.
  3. Place in oven and bake for about 40 minutes at, then bump up temperature to 350 degrees, and bake for about 15 minutes until crisp and darker brown (may vary depending on oven and the size of the seeds).
  4. Remove from oven and let cool, transferring to paper towel or a rag to absorb excess oil. They will become crisper as they cool. Store leftovers in a well-sealed jar in the refrigerator.

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