We could all stand to eat more fruits and veggies on a daily basis which is why we've teamed up with Half Your Plate, a new initiative to get Canadians incorporating more fruits and veg into their diets. And it doesn't have to be that hard - simply fill half your plate with veggie and fruit goodness at every meal or snack!
If there's a star performer in the kitchen in fall and winter, it's got to be butternut squash! It's easy to prepare, versatile, full of vitamins A and C and fiber, and you can store it uncut with little fuss for up to three months! It's also an easy veg to sneak into other dishes without fussy eaters even knowing. And, it brings a much needed burst of colour to our plates in the dull winter months!
Easy Butternut Squash Prep Tip:
One of the biggest struggles people have with butternut squash is prepping it for cooking. It has a very tough skin to cut through and peel and the raw squash itself can be quite hard.
To make things much easier, try microwaving your squash for a few minutes first! Pierce the skin in several spots with a knife to allow for steam to be released and then microwave for two to five minutes, depending on the size of your squash.
Once you've softened it up a bit like this, take it out of the microwave and let it cool for a few minutes. Then you can cut it in half and remove the seeds and stringy bits or peel it and cube it depending on how you'll be cooking it later.
For more nutritional info, selection and storage tips for butternut squash, be sure to download this handy butternut squash fact tip sheet from Half Your Plate.
Using Butternut Squash in Your Cooking
Butternut squash is a perfect accompaniment to a roast dinner and adds a delicious creaminess to soup but it's also a great add to pastas, salads, risottos, curries and more! Don't be afraid to get creative. It pairs well with apples and wide range of herbs and spices. And you can easily slice it in half and stuff it with a mixture of grains and protein to create your own "meal in a bowl".
Here are a few butternut squash recipes we think you should try from FBC Members across Canada:
Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage and Parmesan
Start with a classic Roasted Butternut Squash sprinkled with a little sage and parmesan from Angie at Friday is Cake Night. Don't be afraid to experiment with your own spice blends to change it up a little bit.
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Butternut squash is so easy to turn into a soup after roasting and you can mix it up with different veggies and add ins. This version from Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach pairs butternut squash with apples, cinnamon, curry and ginger. but you can also try a buttenut squash twist on Mulligatawny like Julia at Swirls and Spice created.
More great soup ideas:
- Basic Butternut Squash Soup - Heidi at Food Doodles
- Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup - Gwen at Delightful Adventures
- Mulligatawny Soup with Butternut Squash - Julia at Swirls and Spice
Homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli
Butternut Squash is a great and easy add to your favourite pasta dish. It's texture makes for a great butternut squash ravioli filling like this version from Sugar Love Spices.
Spelt Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash
Butternut squash makes a great addition to risotto or rice dishes. This spelt risotto from Kim at 5 O'clock Rush is great option to try or you can add an extra protein like Meghan at Unassagio did with her Roasted Butternut Squash with Italian Sausage and Feta.
Easy Butternut Squash and Spinach Curry
Butternut squash is a perfect add to a curry dish - the spices complement each other so well. And this butternut squash and spinach curry dish from Melanie at A Virtual Vegan is an easy one to whip up - ready in just thirty minutes!
For more curry ideas try:
- Spicy Butternut Squash Curry - Sadaf at Sadaf's Culinary Adventures
- Butternut Squash Curry - Fareen at Food Mamma
Butternut Squash Pie
Don't forget dessert! If you can make a pumpkin pie, then why not a butternut squash pie? We think so and so does Barbara at My Island Bistro Kitchen with her version of squash pie. A must try!
Be sure to check out HalfYourPlate.ca for more great fall recipes using in season produce as well as tips on selecting, storing and prepping fruits and veggies you can use all winter long. And remember, getting all the fruits and veg you need is as simple as filling half your plate at every meal and snack!