This pear shaped winter squash is easily found at the grocery store this time of year. While the outside is a creamy beige colour, the inside is a vibrant orange. Chock full of beta-carotene just like other orange hued veggies (pumpkin, yam & carrots come to mind!), butternut squash packs many of the same nutritional benefits including excellent levels of vitamins A & E. Butternut squash is also a good source of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium & manganese. Due to the fact that beta-carotene is a fat soluble substance, it is absorbed better by the body when consumed along with some fat. Don’t skimp on the extra virgin olive oil or organic butter!
Because they contain seeds, butternuts (like all squashes) are technically a fruit, though their taste is less sweet and thus reminiscent of a vegetable. They do have a sweet taste to them and are a very versatile ingredient as a result. They can be used in place of pumpkin in many recipes sweet or savoury. An easy way to include more butternut squash on your dinner table is simply to roast it. Check out this step-by-step how-to from A Food Centric Life
Roasted Butternut Squash
- 1 medium butternut squash, about 2 3/4 pounds (1 .25 kilos)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Balsamic vinegar or syrup, to finish (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 400° (204 C)
Cut up the squash – Using a heavy, sharp 9″-10″ chefs knife, slice a thin piece from the top and bottom of the squash. Next, cut across the squash where the neck and bulb meet. Using a sharp vegetable peeler (Y-peelers are easiest), peel the squash. Stand the neck portion on end and cut in half, then into 1″ wide slices or planks. Next dice into 1″ pieces. For the bulb, scoop out the seeds cleanly with a spoon, then slice and dice the pieces as for the neck piece.
Place squash cubes into a medium bowl and toss with olive oil, sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Roast until cubes are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife, about 25 minutes. Cubes should be golden and a bit browned at the edges. Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar or syrup when serving if desired.