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.

 

Preparation

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.

 

Cooking

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!

               http://www.thekitchn.com/eight-things-to-do-with-a-butt-128579

 

Seasoning

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.

 

Health Benefits

  • 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?