So unfortunately it seems the summer has come to an end and the long summer evenings are turning into wet early winter nights. With the great variety of winter vegetables coming into season why not spend your evenings (after exercising) cooking yummy and healthy soups and stews. One of my favourite winter vegetables is butternut squash.
Butternut squash belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family of field pumpkins and is technically classified as a fruit because it has seeds. It has a sweet nutty flavour and has a dense orange flesh, making it ideal to use in numerous recipes.
Read these ‘butternut squash facts’ which I’m certain will you make you run out and stock up on this wonder winter addition:
- Low in calories (~45Kcal per 100g)
- Low in fat
- Packed with antioxidants
- Great sure of vitamins (particularly Vitamin A)
- Source of natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds like alpha and beta carotenes, cryptoxanthin-ß, and lutein. These compounds convert to vitamin A inside the body and deliver same the protective functions of vitamin A on the body
- Rich in B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid
- Great source of iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus
- Source of in dietary fibre
- The seeds are a good source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids that benefit for heart health -supports cardiovascular health
- Research suggests anti-inflammatory and heart protecting properties and blood sugar regulation
- Extremely versatile and can be steamed, baked, sautéed, mashed, roasted and used in soups, baking, stews, smoothis, sauces.
Another great aspect is that the whole fruit can be used! The seeds can be eaten either raw or roasted and sprinkled over soups and/ or salads; the skin once cooked becomes really soft and completely edible. If you don’t want to leave the skin on you can remove it, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle in rosemary and have as ‘crisps’.
After reading all this it’s time to stock up on this winter wonder and get creative! To help you get creative I’ll be posting several butternut squash recipes over the next few weeks.
*Watch this space* :)