I became addicted to butternut squash when we decided to add it to our home-grown garden in 2011. We discovered it is easy to grow, resistant to disease or insects, and unlike our bounty of summer squash, keeps for several months after harvesting if kept in a cool place. In fact, we actually enjoyed our harvest well into the fall and winter months. Butternut squash is a type of winter squash and has a sweet, nutty taste similar to pumpkin. It’s grown on a vine and when ripe, turns increasingly deep orange, and becomes sweeter and richer.
Butternut squash is fat free, cholesterol free, and sodium free. It is a good source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, and an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Healthwise, it contains nutrients and phytochemicals (natural plant chemicals) to support vision, heart, and gastrointestinal health. It also boosts your immune system and lowers risk of some cancers.
According to USDA’s MyPlate, don’t forget to also focus on making half your grains whole grains. Consider making a barley pilaf with butternut squash to increase your intake of whole grains. In addition, you can’t go wrong with roasting the squash or turning it into a silky smooth, comforting soup. Remember, you can substitute butternut squash in any recipe that calls for pumpkin. Don’t miss the opportunity to incorporate this colorful fall bounty into your meals.
Here are 3 of my favorite recipes that I’ll be whipping up in my kitchen. Bon appetite!
Tyra M. Carter, PhD, RD, LD
Fruit & Vegetable Recipes
Video Center: Selection, Storage, and Preparation of Fruits & Vegetables.