Processing seeds and a Butternut squash and apple bread recipe

SquashSeedsI planted an early garden this year which means that by May 12th the tomato plants went in before Memorial Day( which is this weekend).  I had everything in except for all of the butternut squash.  I discovered much to my shock that I had almost no seeds left from last year’s butternut squash seed packet and only one squash left that I was saving to make some bread with.  So that meant I had to process the seeds from that if I was going to have more to plant!

How to process butternut squash seeds

Fortunately, butternut squash seeds are some of the easiest seeds to process for planting.  They take almost no time at all and the washing and drying process are pretty straight forward.

  1. Scoop out the seeds from the cavity.  Don’t worry about all the stringy squash pulp that is attached.  You’ll be rinsing that off.
  2. Put the seeds and “stringy pulp” into a colander and rinse with a stream of cold water, swishing gently to remove the pulp from the seeds.
  3. Scoop the rinsed seeds into a strainer to repeat a finer rinse until you can see that all of the pulp is gone.
  4. Dump the seeds carefully onto a paper towel or a fine mesh screen to air dry.  I have tried both methods and have had less molding problems with the fine mesh screen.  I use a bacon splatter screen for the fine mesh screen and place that on top of a broiler grill top.  It works great!

Once dried, I planted the seeds, 3-6, in separate hills 6″ apart.   My garden bed is divided into quarters so, when the carrots, beets and spring planted lettuce are ready to harvest, I’ll fill in that area with more squash.  Squash doesn’t get harvested till October or late September so there is still plenty of time to plant.  My home-prepared squash seeds went in about a week ago and already they are starting to pop through the soil.  There’s no way to describe the feeling you get when you see that happening except that it is spiritual.  From plant to home-prepared seed to seedling emerging as life in the garden – it’s something that compels me to be grateful to God for the awe and sense of freedom it produces.

But I still had the meat from the squash to do something with.  So I decided to make a quick bread.  I also had some apples left, about 3 of them, and here’s the recipe I created.

Butternut Squash and Apple Bread Recipe:

Yields: 1 loaf
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 60 min


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup butternut squash/apple puree*
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
2 duck eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water

* To process the Butternut Squash and apple puree: after peeling both the squash and the apples, cut both into cubes and cook slowly over med to med low heat, covered, (the apples will provide enough moisture) until a pureed consistency when mashed.  You’ll have some left over for another loaf since you only need a cup!


Preheat oven to 350F.   Lightly grease a 9-x-5-x-3-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the squash/apple puree, sugar, oil, eggs, and water.  Add flour mixture and stir just until blended.  Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick test comes out clean.

The duck eggs (which I raise here on the homestead) really make this bread outstanding.  Duck eggs are a richer egg with a higher fat content so they are excellent for baking and turn out a consistent product.

If you really want to make this bread special, try adding some nuts you’ve foraged in some nearby woods or top it with some icing!   It’s home-made in Indiana with home-grown squash and home-raised duck eggs.

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