For the Love of Local Farmers, Eat Your Produce! (Segment 3: Butternut Squash)

For the Love of Local Farmers, Eat Your Produce!
Kayla Parker, Seacoast Eat Local Intern

For the Love of Butternut Squash!
While the leaves on the trees are changing, so is the variety of squash at our farmer’s markets. Found in a vast array of colors, winter squash is harvested in its fully matured state, with a hard rind that must be removed, and large seeds that are perfect for roasting. For me the butternut squash is particularly nostalgic, reminding me of coming in from a cool fall day of jumping in piles of leaves to the aromas of this sweet squash baking in the oven.

butternut

Why You Should Love the Butternut Squash

With a sweeter taste than some of the other squash varieties, comes a slightly higher sugar content and more calories per serving with 82 calories per one cup cubed. However, with its high vitamin A content at 457% DV it’s totally worth the splurge! Vitamin A is essential to healthy vision, and also aids in cell differentiation during cell reproduction. Butternut squash is also a good source of vitamins C and E, along with essential B vitamins: thiamin, niacin, and B6. It is also a great source of potassium and manganese. Manganese is essential for healthy bone structure, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and aids in the metabolism of protein and fats.

Nutrient profile and facts from nutritiondata.self.com

How to Love the Butternut Squash
Butternut squash can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, from baked to mashed, to pureed into soups and bisques. It is one of my favorites, and I love it in all of these forms, but this week I wanted to find a recipe that was unique and that I have never tried before.

Butternut Squash Muffins

muffin

Ingredients: Makes 12 small muffins
1/2 pound peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon butter, melted

*I used gluten free flour with xanthum gum added and it worked just as well

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin pan.

In a medium saucepan with enough water to cover, boil squash 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat, drain, and puree in a food processor. Add butter, egg, and milk and process for an additional 30 seconds.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, white sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice.Fold squash mixture into dry mixture just until moist.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling cups about 1/2 full. Bake 18-20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Remove from muffin pan and cool on a wire rack.

Recipe modified form Allrecipes.com

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