mmm, butternut squash
This time of year winter squash is in abundance. You can snag a really great deal on squash, but you may be wondering what is the best way to prepare them. I am including one of my family recipes for butternut squash, as well as a recipe from Meaningful Meals to get you started.
Butternut Squash botanically is a fruit, but is prepared more like a vegetable. It's nutritional profile is quite impressive, giving you 4 times the recommended daily value of vitamin A and over half the vitamin C needed. An image extensively listing the nutritional value of butternut squash from Dr. Axe spells it out here:
It is high in antioxidants, boosts immunity, strengthens bones, reduces pms symptoms, aids in weight loss, and even helps prevent certain cancers.
All of that means it is certainly worth giving it a try and making one of these recipes this weekend!
Interesting fact, if you peel a squash that is not fully ripened, the internal sap that is designed to repair any damage done to it while ripening could dry out your skin even causing some peeling. (1)
I personally do not peel my squash before preparing it. I cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Then you could drizzle it with oil and place cut side up on a baking sheet and roast at 375 F for an hour or until a fork easily pierces through it. My preferred way is to put the cut pieces into the instant pot with a half cup of water and cook for 18-20 minutes depending on size and thickness of squash. Then you can just scoop it right out of the skin.
The favorite family recipe around here does not have a name other than Butternut Squash, mostly because it was the one and only recipe we had for years, but let's call it Butternut Squash Delight since that about sums up how the kids react to it being on the table. I have adapted it to make it healthier and gluten and dairy free for my family. I will give you the original recipe and then my amendments.
Butternut Squash Delight
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp soda
1 t vanilla
1/2 c melted margarine
2 c squash peeled, steamed and mashed.
Topping: 1/4 c sugar 1 tsp cinnamon; mixed
Mix all of the ingredients together. Pour into 9 x 9 baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar topping over squash mixture. Bake at 350 F for 25-30 min or until set.
*my personal substitutions are 1/4 cup of coconut sugar instead of white sugar plus 1 Tbl honey, 1/4 c coconut flour to replace flour and a 1/2 c melted coconut oil (or ghee) to replace butter, all other ingredients the same. Topping 1/4 c sugar and 1 Tbl cinnamon
Quite often I will simply dice the squash up, add chopped onion and minced garlic, then saute it in ghee until softened. This makes a quick side dish.
Butternut squash soup recipe from Meaningful Meals can be found here. I would swap out the heavy cream for full fat coconut milk for my family.
I found an extensive list of recipes here to check out if you are still looking for more ways to get creative.