My summer CSA share from The Silverbrook Farm in Acushnet ended a few weeks ago. It was a sad day. After receiving 14 weeks of amazing, healthy, farm-fresh, and LOCAL produce every Thursday afternoon like clockwork, it came to end. I tried to prepare myself, but I cannot tell a lie, the separation hasn’t been easy. Fortunately, enrollment is already starting for next year, so like any CSA groupie does, I’ve got June 8th plugged into my calendar. Wait, CSA groupies don’t exist? I’ve got to get out more.
One of the goodies that we received during the last few weeks of the share was my very favorite, butternut squash. I go into hoarding mode with these things, storing them for the winter like a squirrel does nuts. Fortunately, my garden yielded two solid beauties, so my stash has a little more cushion. That is before the groundhog got to them. But I digress.
So this begs the question, why am I so obsessed with this late fall gem? Here’s why:
Exhibit A: This is no disrespect to my other love, the sweet potato, but cup for cup, sweet potatoes more than double the content of squash in calories, carbs, and (naturally-occurring) sugar.
– Sweet Potato Butternut Squash
Calories 130 60
Carbs 33 grams 16 grams
Sugar 7 grams 3 grams
Exhibit B: While both are high in B vitamins, the squash is higher in folate, a must in the diets future and soon-to-be mamas, as well as mega-antioxidant vitamin E, and bone-building calcium.
However, the squash must concede when it comes to fiber content, with the sweet potato taking first place (4 grams vs. 2.8 grams) and the “pain in the butt” factor when it comes to peeling and slicing, which I’ve tried to reduce for you here.
Step 1: Slice the top and bottom off of the squash, so you can stand the squash on a cutting board without it toppling over.
Step 2: Standing the squash upright (with the bottom of the “bell”) resting on the cutting board, take a large knife and slice the squash right down the middle.
Step 3: Scoop out the seeds, rinse, and save them to roast. Yes, you can eat butternut squash seeds just like pumpkin seeds. No waste, baby! Check out this easy and delicious Sweet ‘N Salty Maple Roasted Pumpkin Seeds recipe that can be adapted.
Step 4: Using a vegetable peeler, peel each side of the squash and then cut into cubes or slices (depending on what you’re making).
Besides this Butternut Curried Bisque, which doubles (or triples) beautifully, freezes like a champ, and is totally toddler-friendly (a BIG plus for this busy mama), one of my other favorite ways to enjoy this mighty winter squash is making these Roasted Butternut Squash Fries. They take the O-M-G factor in sweet potato fries to a whole new level. Yes, really.
Kristen Boucher is an RN and Health and Wellness coach. She can also be found blogging at mixwellness.com.