Butternut Squash is mildly sweet with a creamy texture perfect for soups, pastas, baked goods as well as served as a side simply seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup and a little fresh sage. The fruit is a superfood with many vitamins and antioxidants to help keep you healthy during the cold months. It is rich in skin glowing vitamin A, brain boasting omega-3s and has many anti-inflammatory and blood sugar benefits.
To make sure your body can process all the goodness, buy organic squash. Agricultural trials have shown squash is effective at pulling out soil contaminants from the ground and can “remediate” the soil. Unfortunately you may ingest some of those Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) from the transfer. Organic squash is grown in soil far less likely to be contaminated.
Squash can easily be substituted for any recipes calling for pumpkin. The easiest way to roast squash is to slice the squash in half lengthwise then coat the flesh with olive oil or coconut oil and season depending on your needs. The squash will take 30-40 minutes to roast according to the size.
You can add freshly grated nutmeg, ground cinnamon, a good sea salt or herb salt like Back to Organic Oregano and Sage French Grey or Tuscan Himalayan Pink Salt with a zest of lemon. If you are using the butternut squash for baked goods then you may want to stick with a plain sea salt unless you have some experience in the kitchen.
To roast the squash faster but with a little more prep work, peel the skin on the outside and chop off the top stem. Cut the squash in half and spoon out the seeds. Slice the squash into half moon shapes. Drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup, oregano and sage salt, freshly grated nutmeg, and chopped sage. Cook at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. The squash should be tender when you stick a fork into it.
1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees standard or 400 degrees convection.
2) Wash the squash and slice off the top with the stem. Slice the squash lengthwise in half. Scoop out the seeds and set aside to roast later. Freeze them if needed.
3) Pour olive or coconut oil over the flesh and coat. Drizzle with maple syrup if you want a sweeter squash. Use a microplane and grate fresh nutmeg over the top or use ground nutmeg. Season with cinnamon if you wish. Add several pinches of a good sea salt or herb salt.
4) Turn the squash so the flesh is facing down and the skin is up. Roast for 30-40 minutes depending on the size. A fork should easily pierce the skin and sink into the thickest part of the squash.
5) Let cool and then spoon the flesh out of the skin. Serve the butternut squash with more herbs or spices, make butternut squash soup or a butternut squash cream sauce for pasta, or even bake some muffins. Enjoy!