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Crazy About Butternut

The days are getting shorter and my garden is getting bare. All except the butternut squash, that is. It has taken over. I have recently harvested and cured 6 of the orange gords. If you missed my post on curing, click here to check out it. Curing allows me to store them away for later versus being in a hurry to peel and freeze them. 

Never the less, all natural things eventually go bad. I like to peel, cube and freeze some my squash so it takes the hard work out of using squash when I am ready. The process of peeling squash is not complicated, but it is tedious due to the large size and hard exterior shell. Just a regular ole peeler will do the trick if it has a decent handle and a relatively sharp blade. 

I like to cut the ends off of the squash prior to peeling because it gives the peeler a better grip. The next step is pretty self explanatory if you are experienced with a hand peeler. Just pick a spot, grab hold, and pull! :) Pull HARD! The longer the squash was left to cure, the harder the shells become. 

After the squash is peeled, it's time to cube it. I find this process is easier if I cut it in half just above the bulb. The bulb will have seeds and pulp similar to a pumpkin. Take a spoon and scoop it out. I like to reserve the seeds and roast them as a healthy treat. Cube your squash into pieces that work best for you and place them in a freezer safe bag. All done! Ready for freezing. 

Butternut squash is packed in antioxidants like alpha- and beta-carotenes that give it the orange pigment. Antioxidants are important to find and eliminate free radicals within the body before they cause damage. This vegetables is also high in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and dietary fiber - an excellent addition to any diet!  

Butternut squash is one of the more popular recipes for this vegetable. It is one of my favorites but I also like using roasted butternut for my rendition of a macro bowl. Macro bowls are well balanced meals that consist of healthy proportions of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins with unlimited food combinations.  And butternut squash is almost always involved in my recipes. It's flavor is so universal that it pairs well with almost anything. 

Butternut Squash Macro Bowl

Butternut squash has a subtle sweetness that I like to balance with a warm spice. I like to heat up my squash with the smoky flavor of chili powder. I'll take my cubed butternut and coat it with coconut oil, a 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, and a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. One coated, I'll spread it out evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast it in a preheated oven of 425 for 20-25 minutes, stirring half way through. 

In the mean time, I'll combine one cup quinoa with 2 cups chicken broth in a stove top pot and bring tit o a boil. Once boiling, I reduce the heat and cover allowing it to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until liquid is gone and quinoa is fluffy. Most quinoa packages come with directions. Make sure to read yours!

While everything else is cooking, I'll start prepping my additional ingredients. Kale is very earthy flavor and brings a green balance to the meal. I always rinse and strain fresh kale leaves, and chop them into bite size pieces. Don't forget to chop them. Large piece of kale can be hard and messy to eat! I like to build my bowls like pie charts, fitting each of the components in side by side. I'll garnish with a half of an avocado and a runny egg. That is a fantastic macro bowl. I like to add a little hot sauce on top to give it an additional kick. Simple Truth makes a delicious cayenne sauce. 😋 Enjoy!

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