How Do I Cook Butternut Squash?

butternut squash on baking trayFall is a time filled with rich, sweet and tasty veggies. Squash of all types hit their peak in the fall and winter months, giving your taste buds a real treat.

Butternut squash is one of the most flavorful of these fall veggies, but it can be a tough one to figure out. It’s challenging to cut into. Also, it can take a long time to cook. But once you navigate these issues, you’re in for a real treat.

Butternut squash is low in calories (82 calories for one cup cooked), and high in many vitamins and minerals. This includes vitamins C and E, magnesium, manganese, fiber, folate and many B vitamins. Most importantly, it is high in potassium. Getting enough potassium is important for normal functioning of your heart, kidneys, muscles and digestion.

Selecting a good butternut squash is easy. Pick what size you want and put it in your shopping basket. It’s not like a melon where you can get a “bad” one.

Next, you have to get to the orange center. You can do this by using a potato peeler, then cutting into it and scooping out the seeds. Or you can cut it lengthwise (scoop out the seeds) and bake it. Many grocery stores now carry peeled and cubed pieces of butternut squash, which is a great shortcut!

One very basic recipe is to toss cubed pieces of squash with olive oil and bake until they are tender. You can then toss them with a bit more olive oil, adding some rosemary and parsley for flavor. Or you can mash/whip the cubes, adding butter and a touch of maple syrup for flavor.

However you cook it, butternut squash can be an inexpensive winter vegetable that can help keep you healthy!

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