Wintertime is the season for comforting soups, stews and root vegetable dishes to keep us warm and satisfied when the temperatures drop and the weather has us holed up inside (even in San Diego!).
I decided to take a look at one the seasonal ingredients I’ve seen highlighted in restaurant menus, Instagram feeds and cooking shows- squash. There are many varieties of the vegetable but the one I find to be pretty versatile is butternut squash.
Butternut squash is full of antioxidants and low in calories but boasts some pretty impressive health benefits too. Below I’ve compiled a little top 5 list to give you an idea of the most interesting benefits I came across.
Top 5 Health Benefits of Butternut Squash
- Aides in digestion-1 c of butternut squash has around 7 grams of fiber which promotes regularity and a healthy digestive tract
- Lowers blood pressure-1 c of butternut squash has around 500 mg of potassium which can help decrease your blood pressure
- Improves eyesight-it has over 350% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A which is critical in helping maintain healthy eyesight
- Builds bone strength-there is about 17% of daily recommended manganese in a serving which helps maintain a healthy hone structure, calcium absorption and improves mineral density of the spinal column
- Boosts Immunity-butternut squash is loaded with vitamin C, an important nutrient that helps build the body’s immunity and defense against colds and flus
If you want to incorporate butternut squash into your diet there are a variety of ways, as I mentioned before it is a very versatile ingredient. There are recipes using butternut squash as a soup base, roasted or sautéed as a side dish or even as fries. I’ve included a MFS recipe below that has been a new favorite of mine to enjoy this tasty veggie.
MSF Butternut Squash Hummus
1 organic butternut squash (I used a smaller one which I find have more flavor)
1 14oz can of chickpeas
¼ c avocado oil (can sub olive or other vegetable oil)
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 small clove garlic, peeled
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (increase or reduce for desired spice level)
juice of 1 lemon
salt, pepper & oil to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and peel and cut butternut squash into smaller, similar-sized pieces. Toss in 2 tsp avocado oil and sprinkle with pink Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper. Roast squash on foil lined baking sheet for 30-40 minutes, turning over half way through. Cool completely and then prepare rest of recipe. Add all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth. Add more oil if too chunky. Top with paprika and remaining avocado oil. Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week. Enjoy!
What are some winter dishes you enjoy? I’m off to make dinner and snack on some of this yummy hummus 😉