It’s fall! Fall is one my favorite seasons. Here in Central Florida I don’t have the opportunity to experience the change in the foliage because palm trees line the streets. But nonetheless, the weather is cooler and it’s a welcome change from the summer’s stifling humidity. Other than the change in weather and foliage, I get excited about fall because one of my favorite vegetables is in season – butternut squash. Butternut squash is a member of the pumpkin family. It is sweet, savory and delicious. To top it off, butternut squash has numerous benefits.
Benefits of butternut squash:
1. Since it is in season, it is less expensive. You save money when you buy fruits and vegetables that are in season.
2. It can be bought fresh or frozen. You can buy it in bulk and appropriately freeze it for several months.
3. It’s versatile; it can be prepared in many ways. It can be steamed, pureed, grilled, baked or sautéed. Also, it can be used to make soup, as a spaghetti swap, as a puree in ravioli, in deserts or by itself as a seasoned side dish.
4. Roasted butternut squash seeds are a healthy snack.
5. It has numerous nutritional value.
- It is rich in vitamin A.
- It is rich in B-complex vitamins (folate, B-6, thiamin, niacin and riboflavin).
- It is rich in minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, copper calcium and phosphorus.
- High in fiber.
- Low in calories.
- Contains no cholesterol or saturated fats.
Now that I’ve convinced you that butternut squash is a super vegetable, try my Butternut Squash Soup below:
6 cups cubed+peeled butternut squash(fresh or frozen)
3 tablespoons coconut oil (may use olive oil)
2 chopped carrots
2 ribs of chopped celery
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 cups of vegetable broth (preferably organic)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes for a little heat
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
In a large pot, heat the oil until hot. Add the squash, carrots, celery and onions to the pot. Sauté the vegetables until golden. Season with salt, pepper and cumin. Than add the vegetable broth and stir. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer until the squash is soft, about 30 minutes. Lastly, blend the cooked squash mixture. This can be done in a standard blender. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender directly in the pot. Tip: when using an immersion blender, be sure to turn it on after you inserted into the pot. If you turn it on and than insert into the pot, you will have a big mess on your hands.
Pour the soup in a pretty bowl and garnish with pumpkin seeds. Enjoy.