Squash – 3 ways!

Have you ever seen squash grow? From a tiny little leaf to a heaping plant that can virtually take over you garden – my backyard is just bursting with my favourite veggie – butternut squash!

Just in time for fall, I thought I would give you a head start with some mouth-watering recipes that feature, yours truly, The Butternut Squash. The name of this  veggie, sure isn’t anything to capture audiences – but it’s taste is magnificent. Beaming with yellow-orange goodness, it is soft, moist, tender, sweet and just so incredibly good for you! If squash isn’t already part of your regular meals, try to make it one this fall!

Most people are afraid to approach a squash, it is big, hard and has a tough skin. But that is no reason to shy away. The simplest way to approach a squash is to first, cut it in half width-wise or length-wise – scoop out the seeds and roast it in the oven face down for about and hour. From there you have soft squash that you can scoop away from the skin to make soup, dips, desserts or a mashed side dish or you can eat it straight out of it like a bowl (see below).

Otherwise, you can cut the whole squash up into sizable chunks and start to peel the skin off. Then you can cut your squash into cubes and roast them in the oven like “fries” and then eat them as is, or add them into pilafs and other dishes.

By the way, squash skin is completely edible and full of fiber and nutrients !

WAY # 1:

Adding baked or roasted squash cubes or pieces into a recipe.

I did this last week in my Millet Garden Bowl. Where squash is just an accent or addition to the recipe for texture, colour and flavour. This is easy and can be done to other recipes such as soups, noodles, grain salads, and desserts!

WAY # 2:

Putting your meal inside of half a squash.

Since most squash’s including acorn, butternut, buttercup etc… are rather large, they can act as an amazing vessel for your meal. It also looks really elegant and gourmet! What can be more fun than eating your bowl?

Half a squash filled with wild rice with fresh herbs (recipe below)

WAY # 3:

Blending squash into a recipe.

Whether it is a dip or a soup, butternut squash is creamy, smoothie and consistent. Once blended, it adds such a delicate sweetness throughout your entire recipe.

Sprouted wrap with roasted squash dip (recipe below) topped with kale, sprouts, beets and carrots!

What’s squash got, that I want?

1 cup of baked squash as 145% of your daily recommended vitamin A, and is one of the top sources for alpha and beta carotene.

Squash usually isn’t thought of as being a high-fat vegetable, but it contains a healthy amount of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.

Healthy, energy-sustaining complex carbohydrates and B-vitamins help to balance blood sugar.

Lots of flu-fighting vitamin C helps get you through the season without the sniffles.

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What’s your favourite Root Veggie?

Do you love butternut squash? Why?

What do you make with squash?

Wild Rice with Herbs

1/2 cup brown rice, cooked

1/2 cup wild rice, cooked

1 1/2 cups water

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup green beans, chopped

1/2 cup kale, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh, thyme, parsley, rosemary

1/4 cup unsweetened cranberries

1/4 cup pinenuts

1/4 cup cooked white beans

1. Rinse and drain wild and brown rice. Place in pot and dry toast for 1-2 minutes. Add in water, bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes.

2. In a separate pan, add in olive oil on low heat and lightly saute green beans for 1-3 minutes. Add in kale and green onions and stir until softened and turn off heat.

3. Stir in fresh herbs and combine all the vegetables along with cranberries and pinenuts.

4. Once the rice is cooked and has absorbed all the water, combined with vegetables, herbs and cranberry mixture.

5. Add in white beans and toss in a large bowl.

Roasted Squash & White Bean Dip

1 cup roasted (with olive oil and sea salt) squash, cubed

2 cups cooked white beans

2 tbsp tahini

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup bean cooking liquid or water

 

1. Combine cooked white beans and squash into food processor and puree for 1 minute to combine.

2. Add in remaining ingredient and continue to pulse until a creamy, thick texture is derived.

3. Add sea salt and other herbs to taste.

 

Serve in a wrap with fresh veggies, eat with raw veggies, flatbread, corn chips, tortillas. Top it on pasta, cooked grains or steamed vegetables.