The butternut squash is ready to be harvested in our garden. There is no arguing that fall is upon us. Squash is a common staple around Thanksgiving, but why should you start eating it now? Here are few reasons squash is a fantastic nutritional choice:
1. It's low calorie
This makes it a great choice because it means those with higher calorie needs can eat more volume (and who doesn't like that)? Those with lower calorie needs can trust that this is a smart option that won't tip the scales. Use it as a perfect substitute for white potatoes.
2. It's full of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is powerful anti-oxidant whose beneficial properties have only been seen when eaten (versus supplemented). In addition, Vitamin A is important for healthy eyesight - especially night vision.
3. It's high in B-Vitamins
Essential to fueling metabolic processes, b-vitamins are plentiful in squash. Make sure you get your metabolism revving by incorporating squash.
4. It's versatile
You can find a large variety of squash, including butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash. From that, you can make dishes such as butternut squash pizza (sub squash for sauce and/or use as a topping), pasta (sub spaghetti squash for the noodles) or butternut squash lasagna (sub squash for sauce). You can even toast the seeds as a great source of fiber.
Looking for a tasty recipe for your own newly-harvested (or purchased) butternut squash? Here is one that will bring the family to the table:
Butternut Squash and Spinach Risotto
10 oz butternut squash
1 large red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper
3.5 oz fresh spinach
Handful of flat leaf parsley
1 tsp olive oil
7 oz arborio risotto rice
1 pint vegetable stock
black pepper, to taste
1. Peel the squash, scrape out seeds and cut into cubes around 1/2 inch across (note, you need 10 oz AFTER peeling)
2. Finely chop onion, garlic and red pepper.
3. Heat oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan.
4. Fry the squash, onion, garlic and red pepper together over a low/medium heat until the squash starts to soften.
5. Add the rice and stock; simmer 15-20 minutes (check instructions on your rice), stirring frequently and adding additional hot water as required to keep the rice from boiling dry.
6. Season liberally with black pepper.
7. Once rice is cooked, add spinach and fresh parsley and stir it through until the leaves wilt. Serve immediately.
Picture & Recipe Source: http://blog.rachelcotterill.com/2013/11/butternut-squash-spinach-risotto.html