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Winter Squash: 3 ways to better your Butternut
Categories: Food, Recipes

Winter squash in general are warming to the body and in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) are considered to be medicinal to the Spleen-Pancreas and Stomach while improving energy or Qi stagnation. Winter squash are great sources of natural sugars, complex carbohydrates and beta carotene. Winter squash are medicinal and beneficial to diabetics and those with digestive problems. As well as being excellent sources of Vitamins A, C and pre-vitamin A, winter squash are also full of potassium, iron, riboflavin, magnesium and along with sweet potatoes and carrots are the highest sources of carotenoids, therefore they have high anticarcinogenic properties. Winter squash are naturally low in sodium and in Ayurveda they reduce vata and pitta. Squash seeds are superior sources of fiber and zinc.

One of the many nice things about winter squash is that you can easily roast them and then use them in a variety of different ways. Depending on where you live, fresh and local winter produce is often scare, making squash the ideal winter veggie; it will keep for a long time and there are so many things that you can do with it that hopefully you’ll keep enjoying it until the variety of spring arrives.

Simply oven-roasting squash is a delicious way to prepare a simple and satisfying dish. Following are directions to oven roast a butternut squash, make squash purée and to how make the butternut seeds into a tasty little snack. (These directions will work with other varieties of squash though cooking times may vary.)

Butternut is the longest keeper of the winter squash family and they tend towards a sweet flavor. They have dark orange flesh and a light-colored skin. The skin is thin and soft enough that if it is roasted or cooked with the squash it can be eaten as well and increases the nutritional value.

Start with the following:

1 butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon tamari (soy sauce)

Preheat oven to 350F

Cut butternut squash in half, remove seeds and set aside. Coat the flesh in olive oil and salt. Place cut side down in a roasting dish and bake until soft, 30-60 minutes depending on size.

To make puree:
When the squash is done and cool enough to handle, remove the skin and set aside.  Place the squash in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

To make squash stock:
Place the skin of the roasted squash, the seeds and any pulp or fibers into a soup pot with star anise, cinnamon stick and bay leaf and add 4.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 1 hour.

To make roasted squash seeds:
Clean the pulp and fibers from the seeds and rinse them well. Dry with a towel and spread evenly on a cookie sheet. Bake in the oven at 350F until they are golden brown (about 10 minutes) stirring once or twice to cook evenly on all sides. Remove the tray from the oven and while it is very hot drizzle the tamari over the seeds and stir to coat them evenly. The tamari liquid will evaporate and the salt will dry crystalized onto the seeds. Let them cool completely and then enjoy as a healthy and delicious snack or topping on your favorite salad or soup.

winter squash

2 Comments to “Winter Squash: 3 ways to better your Butternut”

  1. […] plus one tablespoon natural cane sugar (florida crystals) sea salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup pureed butternut squash zest and juice of one lemon 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie […]

  2. […] Yogi A blog about food and yoga by Renee Sills Skip to content HomeAboutContact/ SubscribeRSS « […]

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