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Healthy Butternut Squash Recipes

Butternut squash is the most popular vegetable among winter squash varieties and can be identified as a large pear-shaped pumpkin with golden and yellow color. The edible parts of this vegetable are fruits, flowers, as well as seeds. Butternut squash seeds are eaten as nutritious snacks, because they contain 35-40% oil and 30% protein.

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Health benefits of butternut squash

Butternut squash contains many essential antioxidants and vitamins. Butternut is very low in calories; 100 g of butternut has only 45 calories. It is rich in dietary fiber and phytonutrients and has no content of saturated fats or bad cholesterol. Butternut Squash is often recommended by dietitians in the cholesterol controlling and also in weight loss programs.

The content of vitamin A in butternut squash is more than that in pumpkin. Vitamin A is a powerful natural antioxidant that may help the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for eye health and against lung and oral cavity cancers.

Butternut squash is an excellent source of natural poly-phenolic flavonoids such as α and ß-carotenes, cryptoxanthin-ß, and lutein with protective properties for the body. It is also rich in folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, thiamin, and pantothenic acid. It has adequate levels of minerals like copper, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus.

Butternut squash seeds are an excellent source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and dietary fiber, which are good for heart health. The seeds are an excellent source of tryptophan, an amino acid which promotes health benefits in the brain.

Here are 2 very easy to prepare, delicious and healthy butternut squash recipes for fall and winter.

Butternut Squash and Smoky Black Bean Salad

You will definitely love the taste of sweet butternut squash combined with a smoky, spicy kick in this recipe.

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Servings: 4 Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups butternut squash (cubed and peeled)
  • 7 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (divided)
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 can black beans with no-salt added (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 package baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese (crumbled)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to medium heat. Combine squash with 1 tbsp oil; toss to coat. Arrange squash on a pan. Bake at 425° for  about 25 minutes.
  2. Arrange walnuts on jelly-roll pan and coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/8 tsp salt over nuts. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until toasted.
  3. Combine 1 tbsp olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, and adobo sauce in a bowl and whisk well.
  4. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1tsp oil to pan; spin to coat. Add garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Add squash, 3/8 tsp salt, pepper, and beans; cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 3 tbsp and toss to coat.
  5. Combine remaining dressing and arugula. Divide arugula mixture in 4 plates and top with bean mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and nuts.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Shallot Soup

This easy soup recipe with sweet roasted winter squash is excellent for colder days.

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Servings: 6

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups butternut squash (cubed and peeled)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 large shallots (peeled and halved)
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 2  and 1/2 cups chicken broth (less-sodium and fat –free)
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives (sliced)
  • Ground black pepper (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Combine first 5 ingredients in a flat pan and toss well. Bake for 50 minutes or until, and stir occasionally. Leave it cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Place half of squash mixture and half of broth in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large saucepan and then blend the remaining mixture of squash and broth. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes. Top with chives and pepper, if desired.

Read more: Healthy vegetarian recipes


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