Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cynfully Good Roasted Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash. For years, I avoided it. I thought it was a decoration. You know, to put in a basket of gourds on the table when Autumn rolls around.

When I became a Vegetarian, I discovered how wonderful and yummy Butternut Squash really is! It's so versatile. I can steam it, boil it, bake it, stuff it, fry it, mash it, tranform it into healthy fries, even use it as a stuffing for home made ravioli......the possibilities are endless.

Butternut squash---the perfect food!

If all the amazing ways you can prepare Butternut Squash doesn't convince you give it a try, take a look at how healthy it is for you.........

Butternut squash is low in fat and loaded with fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems. The folate content adds yet another boost to its heart-healthy reputation and helps guard against brain and spinal-cord-related birth defects such as spina bifida.

And the color of Butternut Squash? Once you cut one of these beauties open- you will see for yourself. . The gorgeous color means it's packed with carotenoids, shown to protect against heart disease. Butternut Squash has very high levels of beta-carotene (which your body automatically converts to vitamin A) identified as a deterrent against breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration, as well as a supporter of healthy lung development in fetuses and newborns. A 1-cup serving of Butternut Squash provides nearly half the recommended daily dose of antioxidant-rich vitamin C. 

Wait! There's more! Butternut Squash may have anti-inflammatory effects because of its high antioxidant content.  This means it could help reduce risk of inflammation-related disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.

Convinced yet? YOU SHOULD BE!!!

Here's is a very simple, delicious way to make Butternut Squash. Cut it up and roast it in pan, like potatoes. Only better......and so gorgeous.

Here's how:

Peel one Butternut Squash and chop into cubes. Coat in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss in some fresh, chopped herbs if you have them. I add sprigs of fresh rosemary to my roasted squash. Thyme is delicious, too. Sage......Mmmmm. This is starting to sound a little like a song, isn't it?  :)

Roast them in a pan at 400 degress for about 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking.

If you want, omit the fresh herbs and season with cinnamon and a dash of organic maple syrup. Freshly ground nutmeg is amazing with roasted squash, too. This is so much better and healthier than sweet potatoes loaded with butter or those candied yams everyone eats at Thanksgiving! 

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