Pumpkin could also be the star of the fall and winter seasons, however there’s one other kind of squash that deserves equal — if no more — consideration: butternut squash.
It would look a bit of intimidating, however including butternut squash to a wholesome meal plan is a scrumptious solution to energy up your diet with nutritional vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Preserve studying to be taught every little thing you could learn about this mighty squash.
What Is Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash is a winter squash that grows on a vine and is in season in the course of the fall and winter.
It grows with a tricky, thick pores and skin on the skin, however inside, the dense orange flesh has a potato-like texture and a nutty, candy style.
Although it’s usually the star of hearty and savory dishes, butternut squash is “technically a fruit,” says Sandy Cortez, M.S., R.D.N., registered dietitian and owner of InVita Wellness. “All forms of winter squash — together with butternut squash and pumpkins — are fruits as a result of they’ve seeds, however they’re thought of greens for culinary functions.”
Is Butternut Squash Wholesome?
Butternut squash is “a dietary powerhouse,” says Megan Wong, R.D.
Each serving packs in a healthy dose of nutritional vitamins. It gives greater than the each day advisable quantity of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium.
It’s additionally a naturally low-calorie meals. In response to the USDA, one cup of butternut squash contains:
- Energy: 82
- Fats: 0.2g
- Sodium: 8mg
- Carbohydrates: 21.5g
- Fiber: 6.6g
- Sugars: 4g
- Protein 1.8g
What are the Well being Advantages of Butternut Squash?
Might Assist Preserve Eye Well being
Butternut squash comprises beta-carotene, a kind of vitamin A that’s important for eye well being. It additionally comprises nutritional vitamins C and E.
One examine exhibits that those that consumed higher-than-average quantities of those nutritional vitamins help support eye health as we age.
Might Assist Enhance Pores and skin Well being
One serving of butternut squash comprises greater than one-third of your each day wants for vitamin C.
This vitamin is important for quite a few features within the physique, together with collagen production. Collagen is the principle protein in bones, hair, muscle groups, tendons, and ligaments.
It breaks down over time, so having a food regimen excessive in vitamin C can assist the physique produce collagen, shield in opposition to the free radicals and assist pores and skin well being.
Can Butternut Squash Assist With Weight Loss?
Butternut squash is a posh carb with excessive soluble fiber ranges that aids digestion and retains blood sugar ranges regular.
“By slowing down digestion, the soluble fiber in pumpkin prevents blood sugar spikes,” says Wong.
Consuming meals with soluble fiber can assist you are feeling fuller for longer; research present that high-fiber, low-glycemic-load meals can assist with weight management.
Carbohydrates are one of many macronutrients — together with fats and protein — that our our bodies have to perform.
Whereas there aren’t things like good or unhealthy carbs, they will have an effect on our our bodies in several methods.
For instance, carbs like white bread, soda, and sweet, can spike blood sugar, resulting in the inevitable crash (and feeling of starvation) quickly afterward.
Find out how to Choose a Butternut Squash
Whereas butternut squash is obtainable all yr, it’s finest to choose one up when it’s in season in the course of the fall and winter months.
And when selecting your squash, ensure you’re selecting the correct one.
They have a tendency to all look the identical, however small indicators can assist you inform the distinction between ripe butternut squash and one with mushy or stringy flesh inside.
First, take a look at the pores and skin. Skip a squash if it has any cuts or gentle spots as a result of this could pace up spoiling.
Additionally, transfer on if the pores and skin is shiny — this can be a sign that it was picked too early within the season.
A heavy butternut squash with a agency stem means it has loads of water inside and is prepared for roasting.
Find out how to Peel and Minimize a Butternut Squash
Peeling a butternut squash is perhaps probably the most troublesome a part of getting ready it.
“A uninteresting knife is a extra harmful knife, so should you’re tackling this process, be sure you use a well-sharpened chef’s knife to chop the squash in half,” says Cara Harbstreet, M.S., R.D., registered dietitian, and owner of Street Smart Nutrition.
Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and membranes, then slice the rind away from the flesh of the squash, then dice, slice, or cube it into the scale you want.
“If that is troublesome, you possibly can microwave the butternut squash for a few minute earlier than peeling,” provides Harbstreet.
Be sure you hold the rind. “You should utilize it with different greens to make inventory for different recipes,” recommends Cortez.
In case your knife abilities aren’t as much as snuff, most grocery shops carry pre-peeled and chopped butternut squash, so you possibly can skip the prep altogether and simply get all the way down to cooking!
Take pleasure in These Delish Butternut Squash Recipes
Winter squash is flexible and retains its taste whether or not you roast it, steam it or simmer in a stew.
“Roasting is the most well-liked solution to put together a butternut squash as a result of the dry warmth helps to caramelize the pure sugars in it,” says Cortez.
However that’s not the one solution to put together it.
Take the style to the subsequent degree by attempting out these wholesome butternut squash recipes!
Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta
Whether or not as a aspect dish for a full Thanksgiving dinner or a midweek deal with, this butternut squash dish is salty and candy with feta cheese, cinnamon, and cranberries.
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Sustain your wholesome consuming plan and benefit from the consolation of a heaping bowl of macaroni and cheese with this dish that features each butternut squash and two sorts of cheese — all for below 300 energy per serving.
Butternut Squash Soup With Ginger
Heat up on a chilly day with this creamy soup that mixes the dietary energy of butternut squash with ginger, curry, and coconut milk.
Apple Butternut Squash Soup
Granny Smith apples add a pleasant tart style to this hearty soup, whereas butternut squash, ginger, and milk give it the creamy texture that’s as scrumptious as it’s nutritious.