Scooping the seeds from a butternut squash may bring back memories of Halloween, when you had to reach inside your soon-to-be Jack-o-Lantern and try to pull out all those slippery seeds and strings. This cavern of stubborn seeds is present in most winter squashes, and when it comes to cooking squash, they’ve got to go!
Stay strong—here’s the trick. After cutting that butternut squash in half, use an ice cream scoop to scrape out all of those seeds and strings. With this simple tool, it should take only a few scoops to deseed each half. Ice cream scoops work like magic because they are wider and deeper than a humble cereal spoon, so they can hold more without bending under pressure (literally).
A standard ice cream scoop works perfectly for a butternut squash or pumpkin, but you can apply the same technique to deseed a smaller squash, such as acorn or delicata squashes, using mini cookie-drop scoops.
Now that your winter squash is free of strings and seeds, you can roast it in the oven and use it for a flavorful butternut squash soup or side dish that’s loaded with vitamin A. And don’t toss out those squash seeds: You can actually clean off the seeds and roast them to make a healthy, crunchy snack. Spritz the seeds with a little olive oil, toss with your seasoning of choice, and roast! Try giving these a sweet spin by tossing them with pumpkin pie spice, or go the savory route and use chili powder and cumin. These roasted seeds can even be used in granola!