Introducing “Season’s Best,” a new Sugar + Salt series that highlights our favorite ingredients, dishes & drinks of the season. Want to read about summer berries or winter soups? Leave a comment below to let us know!
This week, we’re talking butternut squash. One of my oh-so-favorite fall ingredients. Before you close the page because you’re thinking, “ew, squash,” hear me out. We’re not talking about the unripe, over-boiled, soggy yellow squash that haunts your childhood memories. No. While I am a lover of all squash, butternut squash is hands down in a *delicious* *amazing* league of its own.
When cooked, this vibrant orange vegetable has an earthy, slightly sweet flavor and a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture. It has an amazing ability to retain its shape while cooking, but fall apart as soon as you take a bite and leave you asking “am I eating velvet?” In combination with its robust flavors, this quality of being both sturdy and delicate at the same time makes butternut squash the perfect “star” of vegetarian dishes.
While I am by no means a vegetarian, I usually prepare a meatless meal at least once or twice a week a) to keep our weekly dining routines interesting and b) because I really just don’t like eating meat every day. When you are looking for something a bit lighter but still filling, this hearty vegetable is a great meat substitute clocking in at only 82 calories per cup and zero fat. Butternut squash also contains high levels of Vitamin A (think immune, skin & eye health) and potassium (think overall cardiovascular health, better blood pressure and lower cholesterol), among several other nutrients.
Beautiful, tasty and healthy? Butternut squash truly is the vegetable trifecta!
WARNING: The one thing that I DETEST about butternut squash is how difficult it is to cut. Seriously. Why must something so delicious be trapped inside a fortress of light tan steel? I literally almost lose a finger or hand every time I attempt to cut one of these bad boys in half.
But wait! A solution: pre-chopped butternut squash. A legit life saver. I get mine from Trader Joe’s and Harris Teeter, and know it is available at most grocery stores. While I am not typically a proponent of pre-cut or pre-cooked produce, this is definitely the exception to the rule. Avoid the hassle (and save the finger) and go with this option.
Madison’s Favorite Butternut Squash Recipes:
And now, the long-awaited list of my top favorite butternut squash recipes from around the web! In no particular order…