• Crystal Narten, RD

Vegetable of the Month - Butternut Squash

The leaves are changing colour and the air is getting cooler which means autumn is upon us. With the weather change comes the urge to curl up with warm soups and yummy fall vegetables and fruits. What better time to explore something new? That’s why we are starting a new monthly feature to explore new vegetables, different ways to prepare them, and lots of yummy recipes. It’s the Vegetable of the Month!

And our vegetable of the month for October is…. butternut squash!

Photo by Cortney Anderson - FLIP team

All about butternut squash

Butternut squash is a type of winter squash, which are harvested in late autumn. It has a pear shape, pale yellow “buttery” colour on the outside, and a rich orange colour on the inside.

Because of their thick skin, butternut squash and other types of winter squash can be stored for very long periods of time, up to 3 months! Make sure it’s kept in a cool, dry place and refrigerate any leftover cut up pieces in a sealed container.

How can you tell when a butternut squash is ripe and ready to eat? A ripe butternut squash feels firm. If you can push a fingernail into the skin of the squash, it is not ripe yet and will be less flavourful.

Why is it good for me?

Butternut squash is high in lots of different nutrients that are good for our bodies:

Vitamin A - helps your eyes see at night and maintains skin health

Vitamin C - helps protect your body’s cells from damage

Potassium - helps keep a healthy blood pressure

Manganese - helps to keep bones strong

Fibre - helps prevent constipation

Enjoying butternut squash

Butternut squash is a delicious and versatile vegetable. It works well in both sweet and savory dishes. Here are our top five ways to prepare butternut squash:

  1. Roast it! Cut the squash into cubes and toss with olive oil before roasting in the oven on a baking sheet for 30-40 minutes. While you’re at it, you can roast the seeds too! These make a great nutritious snack.

  2. Swap it! Butternut squash can be used instead of potato in many recipes. For example, instead of making potato wedges, use butternut squash instead.

  3. Make a dessert out of it! Check out this muffin recipe that works great as a snack or add the frosting for a delicious dessert.

  4. Enjoy it as a soup! Butternut squash works great in soups and stews. Pair it with chickpeas and lentils for a protein punch and portion out leftovers to eat throughout the week. This hearty soup recipe combines both!

  5. Mix it up in a salad, with other fall foods in season like apples or brussels sprouts. Click here to try this Autumn Harvest Salad.

How do you like to prepare your butternut squash? Have you tried any yummy recipes? Let us know on social media by tagging us @FLIPprogram or using the hashtag #FLIPVegetableOfTheMonth


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