My Favorite Butternut Squash Recipe + Its Benefits
What is Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash is a popular winter squash that grows on a vine. Different from summer squash, it has hard inedible skin but a much more flavorful interior. Personally, I think butternut squash has a sweet, almost nutty taste, slightly similar to pumpkin. It contains more calcium, magnesium, potassium, and B Vitamins than sweet potatoes along with lower caloric, sugar, and carb levels. With the temperatures starting to fall, this is a great warm addition for your menu.
How to Buy and Store
Make sure when buying a squash you choose a heavy one with matte, unblemished skin. A shiny squash indicates it was picked too early, and therefore will not be as sweet as those left to properly ripen. You should store them in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator), with a good amount of ventilation. A whole squash can last up to a few months, and cut squash can last up to a week if wrapped and put in the fridge. After that, the surface will begin to feel slimy, an indicator it’s time to throw it away.
High-fiber diets have long shown lower blood-sugar levels in Type 1 diabetics and lower insulin, blood sugar, and lipid levels in those with Type 2. Fortunately, one cup of butternut squash contains 6.6 grams of fiber, a helpful boost to reach the 21-25 grams per day requirements for women and 30-38 grams per day for men.
Promotes Gut Health
Fiber is also a key player in waste elimination. Soluble fiber, the digestible fiber that attracts water and forms a gel, binds to waste materials and allows them to move quickly through the digestive tract before elimination. Due to its high levels of fiber, butternut squash helps prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract.
Lowers High Blood Pressure
Proper potassium intake has been show to help maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Unfortunately, studies also show that less than 2% of Americans reach their potassium requirements. Luckily, butternut squash has 582 mg per cup, helping you reach the daily recommendation of 4,700 mg.
Boosts Immune Function
Because of its high fiber and vitamin levels, butternut squash is also a great immunity booster. While eating it won’t help cure your cold, it might lower the risk of you getting one in the first place or developing complications such as pneumonia if you do.
Healthier Skin and Hair
One cup of butternut squash has a whopping 437% of your daily Vitamin A needs. This is great since Vitamin A is needed to produce sebum, an oil responsible for keeping your hair moisturized. Since most people do not get their recommended daily amount of Vitamin A, you won’t have any negative reactions from consuming this much. Vitamin A also plays a role in the growth of bodily tissues, including the skin, and hair.
Another bonus: Inside one cup of butternut squash are the high levels of Vitamin C which amount to over 50% of your daily recommendation. Vitamin C is know for its role in building and maintaining collagen, the protein that provides structure to your skin and hair.
Butternut Squash Soup
This recipe is gluten-free,vegan, vegetarian, and delicious on these cool fall days!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4 people
1 Butternut Squash
3 Shallots (peeled and quartered)
2 cloves Garlic (peeled and quartered)
1 tablespoon EV Olive Oil
½ 14-ounce can Coconut Milk
½ teaspoon Cumin
½ teaspoon Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
1. Peel and seed the butternut squash and halve it lengthwise
2. Add it to a pan along with the shallots and garlic
3. Drizzle with olive oil and microwave for 15, turning halfway (poke holes 4 to 6 times) or roast at 450 checking around 40 mins or until soft
4. Add the squash and the remaining ingredients into a blender
5. Blend until smooth and creamy
6. If necessary, heat in a pot on the stove until ready to serve
Top with onions and avocado slices for a delicious flavorful addition.
Add some Thai inspiration with 1- 2 tbsp of curry powder and the juice of a lime.