Butternut Squash

Autumn is here, and I always manage to stockpile a variety of squash. Butternut squash is one of my favorites; however, I also enjoy spaghetti squash, acorn squash, etc.  Today I want to focus on butternut squash because it’s the most versatile in soups.
Squash has always been highly valued and widely cultivated by indigenous people in the Americas.  The name “Squash” comes from the Narragansett Native American word askutasquash, which means “eaten raw or uncooked.” 

I value squash for its flavor and nutritional content!

The vegetable is high in vitamins A, B6, and C, folate, magnesium, fiber, riboflavin, phosphorus, and potassium. That’s a serious nutritional power-packed veggie.
How to Pick the Best Butternut Squash
Much like the acorn squash and spaghetti squash, it’s essential to look for butternut squash that is heavy for its size. It doesn’t need to be the biggest one, but a solid and heavy squash is your best bet. 
Look for squash with a nice beige color.  Surface scratches and imperfections are normal, but deep scratching, cuts, or soft spots are not.
Preparing squash is easy, and if you are making soup, you don’t need to roast it first.  You can simply remove the peel and cut into cubes as I did in these recipes.
Butternut Squash and Porcini Mushroom Soup
Spicy Butternut Squash with Coconut Milk
Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
However, roasting squash will enhance the flavor profile.  When I plan to eat it alone or think it might be going bad, I will roast it because it will freeze better.
What You Need to Roast Butternut Squash
Butternut squash can be roasted halved or cubed.  Depending on the type of recipe you plan to prepare will determine how you want to roast your squash.  I will cube butternut squash if I am using it as a side dish.  I love it with Brussels on quinoa.
To roast butternut squash, you will need an oven, a baking sheet (or two) or a baking dish, and a large sharp knife.  If you plan to roast your butternut squash in small cubes, you will also need a sharp paring knife or vegetable peeler to slice away the squash’s tough skin.  I prefer using a vegetable peeler.
You will also need the following ingredients:

  • Butternut squash
  • Olive oil, Ghee or Butter 

For added flavor, try adding one (or a few) of the following:

  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh herbs (thyme or rosemary)
  • Cayenne powder
  • Brown sugar – Rob’s favorite
  • Maple syrup – Rob’s second favorite
  • Cinnamon or Nutmeg 

How to Roast Butternut Squash (Cubes)

I roast squash cubed if I want to eat it as a side dish, as I mentioned earlier.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  I use the “roast” feature on my range.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to slice the skin from the butternut squash by holding one end of the squash with one hand and the vegetable peeler in the other.
  • Cut the squash in half lengthwise.
  • Scoop out the seeds from each half and save for roasting (or toss if you want).
  • Flip each half over so that it is cut-side-down and cut the squash into cubes. Depending on the size needed for the recipe you’re making, cut into small half-inch to one-inch cubes, and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • Toss with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs, if desired.
  • Transfer the butternut squash to a lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until cooked to desired doneness. 

How to Roast Butternut Squash (Halved)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  I use the “roast” feature on my range.
  • Using a large, sharp knife, cut your butternut squash in half lengthwise.
  • Scoop out the seeds from each half and save for roasting.
  • Transfer the butternut squash, cut-side up into a baking dish (add a half-inch of water to a baking dish), brush with olive oil or melted butter, coating the squash’s entire surface.
  • Season with salt and pepper and any add-on’s you prefer.
  • Roast in the oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until soft and fork-tender.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool. 
  • Scoop flesh from the skin and enjoy straight or in your favorite recipes.

What is your favorite way to enjoy squash?  Drop me a line and let me know.

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