I was a late developer as far as Butternut Squash was concerned. I had seen it from time to time in the supermarket and it looked a bit weird to me and as my grandparents would probably say “hippy food”.
So I had avoided it and because we lived in England it wasn’t a big thing at the time.
Then we went out for Fathers Day in 2007 at Manchester United (yes both my husband and son are die hard fans and it felt like the perfect place for a day out) and it was a set three course meal. The starter was the most amazing butternut squash soup and from that moment I was hooked.
Here I am with Kyle after lunch:
Clearly it was before I lost all my weight so I had an incredibly fat face, but because its such a long time ago, I looked much younger 🙂
I didn’t have much of it when I lived in England because it was rather over priced but since moving to Portugal it has been on our weekly shop ever since. Even out of season I am complaining that they have got too small as I just need my fix.
But if you want to eat healthy, if you want easy meals with your family it is hard to know where to get started and that is why I have put this blog post together for you!
What is butternut squash?
A butternut squash has a slim neck and bulbous bottom to give the butternut squash its distinctive bell shape. When you see the centre of it and discover it is bright orange you’re often surprised given its neutral skin colour. It also grows on the vine.
You’ll always be able to tell when it is ripe because it will turn into a really deep orange.
The butternut squash originally came from Massachusetts and on visiting the local area you’ll see a lot of different butternut squash cooking ideas.
Though I love the English Dictionary for its definition:
“A popular winter squash of a pear-shaped variety with light yellowish-brown rind and orange flesh.”
That kind of sums it up perfectly doesn’t it?
It is known in Australia and New Zealand as a butternut pumpkin and many Americans associate it as a winter squash.
It has a relatively sweet taste but many people see it as a potato alternative and it can be used in a similar way. Many people also say that it is very similar to a pumpkin.
In order to cook with it many chefs cut the neck from the body and work with each section separately.
What are the benefits of butternut squash?
There are a few benefits of eating butternut squash. The most common are:
Excellent source of fibre – Many Paleo followers have it because if they avoid grains and cereals they can get their fibre intake from butternut squash.
High in vitamin C – Instead of just eating oranges for your vitamin C have some butternut squash!
Blood sugar regulator – if you suffer from diabetes they’re very good for regulating your blood sugars.
Cheap – it is also relatively cheap. We often pay just 2 euros for a really large one from our local supermarket.
Versatile – I can chop up a butternut squash and think up 30 meals with it and then struggle to decide what I would rather cook.
Full of anti-oxidants – Because of the anti-oxidants it is great for keeping your skin healthy and making you feel young.
Anti-Inflammatory – It is perfect for you if you have asthma or arthritis.
Good plate filler – It is fantastic for those moments when you can’t think which side would work best with your meal.
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What can you cook with butternut squash?
So you know what a butternut squash is, you know what the benefits are, but what you should cook with it. Well it is like cooking chicken and the question should really be “what can’t you cook with it?”
I love it in soups, stews, casseroles, as a fries alternative, roasted whole, tray bakes, as mash, puree in baking or even just steamed for when you’re serving meat and veg.
But my lovely researchers Jan & Sarah has been busy searching the internet for their favourite butternut squash recipes and we discovered the following tasty dishes that we suggest you try out:
To sum it all up, you can read more about the butternut squash in our infographic below: