Sunday, September 30, 2012

How to Cook Butternut Squash - Yes You Can!

Do the isles of strange looking vegetables in the produce department scare you? It used to scare me too. Now I revel in the inexpensive variety of squash avalible at my local Whole Foods every fall and winter. Acorn, Butternut, pumpkin, Patty Pan, Hokkaido, I've tried the traditional and not so traditional and had yummy results.

Squash is not only healthy, it is very tasty too. It's not hard to prepare fresh squash either. Butternut, my favorite squash, has a mild nutty flavor, and you can prepare it similar to sweet potatoes. The organic butternut has a rich orange color and a wonderfully sweet flavor. It's great with cinnamon and honey! This is how I prepare it:


First Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler.


Then chop off the ends of the squash with a chef knife.





Then cut it in half. Depending on the ripeness, this may be a difficult task.
 


The heavy chef's knife makes this an easy task.

Next, save the seeds. Gently pinch the seeds out of the goo with your finger.



This should not be done to varietys that have patented seeds.

Next slice it lengthwise in strips and cut into chunks. Place the chunks in a baking dish and sprinkle with honey, olive oil (or butter if you are not dairy-free), a sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt and cinnamon. Bake at 325 degrees until the chunks are soft. Smash the chunks with a fork and serve!