This is my favorite time of year in the produce section. I love seeing all the winter squashes piled high in the produce bins just waiting to jump into my grocery cart. I especially love butternut squash.
Butternut squash is at its peak season now through the end of November. The cost is amazing and the availability is plentiful. Make sure you take advantage of this heart and lung healing vegetable.
YOUR HEART and LUNGS WILL BENEFIT: All winter squash has one of the most concentrated vegetable sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3 essential fatty acid that is very good for your heart health. The deep orange and yellow color are the carotenoids that provide your body with an abundance of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. These two vitamins help your circulatory and respiratory systems functioning at their top capacity.
HOW TO SELECT: Look for a butternut squash that has a long slender body and a small lower body. The bottom portion is mostly seeds.
CLEANING: Rinse your squash under cold running water before cutting. It prevents you from eating dirt or possible chemicals that are on the outer skin.
PREPARATION: Depending on the size of your squash will depend on whether you want to peel it first or after it is cut. Cutting it into smaller sections and then peeling it is easier. If you are baking it, you do not have to peel it first.
3 SUPER SIMPLE RECIPES
Quick and Easy Steamed Butternut Squash
3 cups cubed squash
3 TBS of extra virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil or organic flax oil
1 tsp of organic lemon juice
Himalayan Pink Salt to taste
Fill a pan with 1 inch or so of water and bring it to a boil. Add your 1-inch cubes. Turn your fire down to simmer and cover the pan. Cook for around 7 minutes but watch carefully not to lose all of your water. You can also use your vegetable steamer if you have one. Squash is done when tender yet still firm. Transfer to a serving bowl and toss with remaining ingredients.
Do not eliminate the oil or salt. Both are necessary to receive the most health benefits of the squash.
Pumpkin seeds, sea vegetables, finely chopped rosemary as you are steaming, chopped basil after you steam, raw sunflower seeds, chopped raw walnuts.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
Make the steamed squash recipe above. Add 1 cup of organic vegetable broth or filtered water, 1 can of organic coconut milk, 1 tsp of curry powder, and blend until smooth.
MASHED BUTTERNUT SQUASH (instead of Mashed Potatoes)
Make the steamed squash recipe above. Add 2 cloves of garlic (or 2 tsp of garlic powder), 1 tsp ginger powder and 2 TBS of Flax oil. Blend in your food processor. Enjoy as a side dish and add a dollop over a huge bowl of steamy vegetables.
BAKED BUTTERNUT SQUASH – Set Oven at 350 degrees. Place squash on a cookie sheet or baking dish. Put a little water in your pan. Bake until tender usually 1 1/2 hours depending on the size of the squash. Check after an hour.
Don’t SQUASH your Health. It’s time to FALL into Healthy Habits,