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Butternut Squash, the Best Winter Squash

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By Dinar Yusufov

A lot of people, this time of year, are talking about butternut squash, one of the most popular winter squashes. Personally, it’s my favorite. I eat it at least twice a month, if not more. The taste and smell just feels so fall-ish and warm, it’s pretty hard to resist. So, what is the big hype over these wonderful squashes? WELL, let me list you off some reasons why it is such a yummy and craving-worthy vegetable, as well as so versatile.

* You can make delicious soups from it.

* You can use it as an appetizer with Brussel sprouts, and even a quinoa dish.

* It can be used as a substitute for mashed potatoes.

* It pairs VERY well with cinnamon, maple syrup, and even balsamic vinegar!

There are so many uses of this wonderful and delicious squash. The possibilities are basically endless! So, now that you have some ideas of how to use it, let me give some reasons why you should definitely indulge in this healthy winter squash.

1. It contains lots of Vitamin A. This vitamin is great for making your hair and skin look radiant and glow, as it keeps them moisturized.

2. It promotes regularity. Since butternut squash is high in fiber (6.6 grams (wow!) of it in one cup of cooked, cubed butternut squash), it helps with preventing constipation and keep your digestive tract healthy.

3. Boosts immune function! This lovely squash is high in both vitamin C AND beta-carotene, making it the immunity boost that your body needs to brace these cold winter months ahead!

4. It can help lower blood pressure. Butternut squash is a great source of Potassium. A diet that is high in potassium can help prevent high blood pressure issues, as well as maintain a healthy BP.

5. Has anti-inflammatory properties! This is due to its high antioxidant content. Thus, consuming more of this squash can assist in reducing the risk of inflammation-related disorders, such as arthritis and asthma.

Now that I have lead you through both the uses and reasons why Butternut Squash is so healthy, here are some cooking & cutting tips!

There are a variety of ways to cook Butternut Squash, but I will be going over my favorite way, cubing them & then roasting! So, first we must get the cutting down, which can be a bit tricky, due to its interesting shape.

How to Cut a Butternut Squash:

1. Cut the ends of the squash (both sides) to give a more balanced squash.

2. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off all the skin. (Use a pretty sharp peeler!)

3. Cut the squash in half, where the neck meets the body.

4. Slice the body into pretty thick disks.

5. Cut each disk into long rectangles, and then cube!

6. For the body, cut the squash in half and scrape out all the seeds with a spoon.

7. Cut the halves into strips, and then cube from there!

Once the entire squash is cubed, time to roast it.

 

Here is my favorite recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash:

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Toss the butternut squash with olive oil and garlic in a large bowl. Season with salt and black pepper. Arrange the squash in a baking sheet, in a single layer.

3. Roast in the preheated oven until squash is tender and lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

4. Enjoy the yumminess!!

I hope this post has sparked your interest in trying butternut squash! Give it a try and don’t forget to share with your friends and family! J

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