Insider’s Viewpoint: Transform Your Butternut Squash!
At first glance, butternut squash may seem a bit cumbersome and tough to work with. However, rich in antioxidants and vitamin A, it should be center stage on your autumn menu. There is no reason to be intimidated by this very healthful, very big root vegetable. With the right tips and preparations you’ll be able to transform it into many delicious seasonal dishes with ease.
However, before you can savor butternut squash, you first need to figure out just how to get to the squash. The easiest way by far is to follow this example for peeling butternut squash and then microwave it for 2-3 minutes to soften it just enough that it is easy to cut.
Once you have peeled and cut the squash, you can enjoy it using one of these unique preparations, which will allow you to increase the nutritional benefit of the dishes you prepare.
5 Fantastic Ways to Prepare Butternut Squash
Probably the most simple (and fastest) way to prepare butternut squash is to simply cut it into 1-inch cubes and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400°F for about 25 minutes or until it is fork tender. You can change this easy preparation by adding herbs and spices such as sage, thyme or cinnamon.
There are a variety of sweet and savory ways to make butternut squash soup. Let your creativity loose or use a unique recipe like the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup w/Curry below, which turns this versatile ingredient into something totally unexpected.
Cooked squash can be puréed and used in a variety of ways for several different dishes. Layer it into a lasagna, season it and mix it with ricotta cheese for homemade ravioli, use it to thicken sauces, add it to macaroni and cheese, or create a delicious spread for crostini, Paninis and more. Use spices such as nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves, cinnamon and ginger or possibly thyme, sage and oregano for interesting flavors that are sure to add something special to your dish.
Push potatoes aside and try shredded butternut squash for cakes and fritters. Use it on its own or consider combining it with grains.
Grab your spiralizer and create butternut squash noodles. Lightly season and add just a bit of parmesan cheese or consider seasoning with sage and brown butter.
Very versatile butternut squash can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Each one is sure to add rich nutrients and flavor to your dish.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Curry
Servings: Serves 6
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
- 1 each butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks (approx. 6 c)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 each yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 each can (approx. 14 oz) coconut milk
- 1 dash salt, to taste
- 1 dash freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Toss squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender. Set squash aside.
- Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a deep pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 10 minutes. Add spices, stirring mixture occasionally for 1 minute.
- Add broth, coconut milk, and roasted squash. Bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer about 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Carefully transfer mixture to a blender and blend until soup is smooth. An immersion blender is a useful alternative.
Allison J. Stowell MS,RD,CDN
Hannaford Brothers Company