Butternut Squash Done 6 Different Ways!
I absolutely love winter squash! It’s warm, filling, and nutrient packed. My favorite variety lately has been delicata, because of its edible skin and ease of preparation. Yet, there are many other varieties, such as butternut that simply cannot be replaced! I find that for me it is best to cook in batches. This cuts down on cooking time, cleaning, and gives me lots of leftovers to use throughout the week or to freeze for later.
Butternut is a classic winter squash that most people are familiar with. You will find them in abundance at fall and winter farmers’ markets. The bright yellow-orange skin is an indication that this squash is high in beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important for eye health and promotes healthy skin. Butternut is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which is used by the body for wound healing, gum health and also aids the body in the absorption of iron. While naturally low in calories, squash is also a dietary source of fiber, keeping your feeling full longer after eating. It is a perfect healthy addition to any meal – Try it roasted and cubed on a salad with cranberries and feta, add to your favorite stir fry rice bowl, or try it in a healthy breakfast hash!
Like most winter squash they have a thick tough outer skin. This is helpful when storing them over many months during the winter, but it can also be a task to cut through when cooking. Instead of spending time cubing and peeling, I simply cut my squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake them in their skins. Once cooked the flesh can be scooped out easily and either mashed as a side, or pureed to go in other dishes or soups. Check out the Seacoast Eat Local Pinterest page for Butternut for even more ideas!
Below I have some photos of squash I roasted using very different spices and flavors. This was a fun way to cook the squash because I ultimately ended up with 6 different dishes, all of which were cooked at the same time and on the same pan! Talk about easy! All of the squash was cut in half, cleaned out, and drizzled with a bit of olive oil. We baked them at 375 degrees until tender. For the squash that we wanted to put “sauce” on we scored the flesh with a fork – this helped keep the toppings in place so they could seep in as it cooked. If your squash is rolling away on your pan you can simply make a shallow, flat cut on the back side to create a flat surface.
The six varieties of seasonings are as follows (clock wise):
Sriracha & Brown Sugar
Minced Garlic, salt & pepper
Chinese 5 Spice
Ginger & Honey
Olive oil, salt & pepper
Maple Syrup, Cinnamon, Nutmeg & vanilla
Our favorite was the maple syrup with cinnamon and nutmeg. Next time I plan to use fresh grated ginger instead of dried and just a tad bit more honey. Feel free to experiment! Squash lends itself well to spicy and savory seasonings as well as sweet.