Fancy in Disguise: Roasted Seeds

Roasted seeds is a foodstuff that is secretly omnipresent in popular cuisine. You'd think it'd be a difficult process to have those deliciously toasty seeds but it's actually super easy and far more rewarding than buying them yourself (and subsequently setting your food budget ablaze).

The dry heat draws out natural oils that, besides making your kitchen smell fantastic, contribute to some very balanced dishes, open doors for seed butters, and are great snacks. Let's not forget that a well-stored roasted seed can last months and always be on hand for your culinary adventures. Roasting seeds is actually a pretty straightforward adventure that only asks for your mindful attention.

The Read It and Eat™️ spring box is Fruit & Seeds themed so I thought we could discuss how to roast and store your favorite seeds.

Personally, I like to toast sesame seeds and add them to my stir fry recipes, but you can do this with just about any seed. I promise: if you can toast a piece of bread and pay enough attention so it doesn't burn, then you can do this, too!

Toasting Seeds on the Stove-Top:

You'll need the following:

• A trusted pan you can easily pick up

• Stirring utensil

• A plate to cool the seeds

• Air-tight, food-safe containers for storage

• ½cup to 1cup raw seeds, shelled. Best in a container you can easily pour from ◦

Recommendations for starters: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or white sesame seeds ◦

Raw seeds are sold in bulk, with or without shell, and are not roasted, salted, or seasoned.

Note: Different types of stoves have different methods to heat your pan and distribute heat. Trust the process. You know your stove best.

How to Roast Your Seeds:

  1. Set your stove to medium and warm up your pan. Check your pan heat by holding your hand over it; if it feels warm and toasty, borderline hot, your pan is ready.

  2. Pour your seeds into the pan so the bottom is covered in a thin layer. You don't want your seeds layering atop each other.

  3. Start tossing and stirring your seeds until you smell the aromatics and see the colors change. This will take two to ten minutes, depending on your seed size.

  4. Once your seeds are a lightly toasted color, transfer them to the plate and spread them out for cooling. Give them a stir every few minutes to let any trapped heat release.

  5. After your seeds have fully cooled you can eat them right away, or transfer them to an air-tight container for storage.

• Sesame seeds toast to a light golden brown

• Sunflower seeds toast to a muted tan

• Pumpkin seeds or pepitas toast to a yellow-green


How big should your stove-top pan or baking sheet be?

As long as it's big enough to prevent your seeds from stacking atop each other, any size!

How long should I wait for my seeds to cool before storing?

Your seeds should come to room temperature before moving to the jar for storage; cool to the touch is even better. If you find the temperature is a little too warm, give them a stir and wait another fifteen minutes or so before re-checking and transferring to the jar for storage.

If you don't have a jar, any kind of food-safe container that can be air-tight will do!

Where should I store them?

  • The Pantry: about three to four months

  • Keep it cool, dry, away from sunlight and heat.

  • The Fridge: About five to seven months.

  • Away from moisture is really important.

  • The Freezer: about a year

  • Make sure your container has little to no airspace to avoid freezer burn.

How can I tell if my seeds are rancid?

Spotting mold: which looks like a spider web with round little balls the size of sprinkles. Or a fuzzy moss that is white, blue, black, or green

An off color or odor, usually smelling stale and sour

A taste that is bitter (not the same taste as burnt!)

Let us know how your toasted seeds come out!


Damien Baghez of Long Island, New York, tends to view food as flavor landscape rather than a bomb of calories. Fantasy and food fuel their passion and are usually the root for all of their projects. A key principle in the kitchen for Damien is that “all food can be made delicious, you just have to figure out how”. In their free time you'll catch Damian in the kitchen trying out a recipe they found online (even if it means too many leftovers), playing the next video game on their never-ending list, or snuggling down with their partner over a cup of tea and a good talk about the last anime they binged together.

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