With a deliciously sweet nutty taste, the butternut squash is a versatile, healthy food, yet many people seem unaware of how to prepare and use it. As it’s in season, we thought we’d give you the lowdown on all things butternut.
Preparing a hard-shelled butternut squash can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be!
After cutting a squash in half, simply peel the skin off with a peeler, quarter the squash then scoop out the seeds with a spoon. These seeds can be kept and are delicious roasted.
Alternatively, if you’re not worried about presentation or are looking to make a purée, you might be better off roasting your butternut squash in halves, skin on.
The most common way to cook butternut squash is roasting – having diced it simply dab with olive oil and roast at 200 C for around 30 mins, turning once during cooking. However if you’re short on time you could microwave your squash whole – cut several slits in the flesh and cook for around 10 mins for a medium squash. Another option is to peel, dice then boil for 15-20 minutes.
How to use it
Much like the pumpkin, the sweet and wholesome flavour of butternut squash lends itself well to a warming winter soup – try adding chili for a spicy twist.
Having roasted your squash it makes a great addition to most dish – from a risotto to a curry to a side dish for a roast – the list goes on. Check out this article for more tasty squash ideas!
In terms of herbs, earthy-tasting herbs such as sage and rosemary are ideal as they complement the sweet notes of the squash. The warm "pie spices" of nutmeg and ginger are a good match for butternut squash, both underlining and balancing its sweetness. For a savoury approach, consider cumin. Chilies of all sorts also match well with butternut squash, providing a delicious sweet-and-spicy flavour combination.
- Low in fat and high in dietary fibre, butternut squash is an extremely heart-friendly choice.
- High in potassium, important for bone health
- Vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems.
- What’s more, with just a 1 cup serving you’ll get nearly half the recommended daily dose of anti-oxidant rich vitamin C.
To try out the amazing butternut squash for yourself, why not sample it as part of our Deluxe Fruit and Veg Box this week?