Of all the winter squashes available, the butternut squash is one of the most popular. It has rich flesh that is sweet in flavor and its taste is compatible with a range of dishes. In some countries, it is called a butternut pumpkin because of its appearance and similar taste. It also has a few calories and a lot of nutrients. Learn how to peel, cut and cook this delicious, nutrient-rich vegetable in minutes.
Health Benefits of Butternut Squash
The yellow-orange flesh of a butternut squash is not only tasty, but packed with plenty of nutrients too. Butternut squash is fibrous, which means it is both filling and beneficial for your digestive process. Fiber can decrease or even eliminate intestinal and bowel problems like constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, unusual stools and more.
Potassium is another important nutrient found in butternut squash, as well as folate and vitamins A, B and C. Consuming the recommended amount of potassium a day is good for bone and muscle. Folate, or folic acid, prevents diseases. This disease-prevention ability is enhanced by vitamins B and C. Butternut squash has 80-90 calories a cup and is ideal for weight loss programs.
How to Peel Butternut Squash
Butternut squash has a shell that most find hard to cut and peel. To be able to peel squash successfully, you need a very sharp, serrated knife and peeler. First, use the knife to make several penetrating cuts on the surface of butternut squash. Once pierced, place the squash in the microwave and cook on high heat for 2 minutes. Warming butternut squash in the microwave is an effective way to soften the shell.
How to Cut Butternut Squash
When the shell has been softened, slice off the ends of the squash. Lay it sideways and cut it in half. It is advisable to cut it where the narrow neck meets the base. From there, you can peel the shell off lengthwise. Make sure you peel off the green veins as well.
Boiling Butternut Squash
After peeling the skin off, use a spoon or clean hands to remove the seeds. Cut the flesh into cubes and boil in a pot of water. When tender, season with cinnamon or seasoning of your choice.
Baking Butternut Squash
The best way to bake butternut squash is to leave its skin on. Instead of cutting the butternut squash at the neck, slice it in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and bake at 400 F lying face down. Bake until the flesh is a deep orange color and tender. Brush with olive oil before baking. If you’re baking cubed pieces, place them on a tray lined with aluminum foil.
Roasting Butternut Squash Seeds
One of the best things about this variety of squash is that the seeds are edible and tasty. Just boil the seeds for 10 minutes, dry and sauté in a tablespoon of olive oil. Serve.
You can use butternut squash to add sweetness to a lot of dishes. It is a delicious veggie side dish that goes well with main dishes, and is tasty in soups, gravies, salads and even desserts. Its low calories are ideal for dieters and low carbohydrate content is safe for diabetics.