Butternut squash is almost the definition of fall. It’s sweetness comes out when cooked which goes well with seasonal savory dishes. This veggie is technically a fruit and is a member of the gourd family, along with pumpkins, melons, and cucumbers.
Why is it beneficial?
Butternut is high in fiber which makes it a heart healthy choice for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. It is high in folate which is essential for a healthy pregnancy and contains the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C. These nutrients protect your immune system which is perfect during cold and flu season.
When is it in season?
Butternut squash can be found throughout the fall. Look for a squash that is matte on the outside. A glossy exterior can mean it was picked too early and won’t have a developed flavor.
How long will it keep?
Whole butternut squash will keep for a couple weeks if kept in a cool, dark place with ventilation (not in the refrigerator). Peeled and cut squash will last a few days in the refrigerator.
How can I prepare it?
Butternut squash is a pretty versatile veggie to cook with. It goes with many flavors and moods. The only downside is it can take a while to cook since it is so dense. If you want a quick dinner, cook your squash when you have time and eat it with various meals throughout the week. You can:
- halve it lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, roast it, then stuff it.
- peel it and cut into cubes. Season and roast it, then eat as a side dish or puree for an easy soup.
- or boil the cubes for a veggie boost in your smoothies.
- boil the cubed squash, mash it, and stuff large pasta shells or ravioli with it.
No matter how you fix it, you’ll enjoy this yummy taste of fall!
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