Butternut squash is the most popular among winter squash varieties and it is certainly mine too. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems. The folate found in butternut squash adds yet another boost to its heart-healthy reputation and helps guard against brain and spinal-cord-related birth defects such as spina bifida.
The orange color signals an abundance of powerhouse nutrients known as carotenoids, shown to protect against heart disease. In particular, butternut squash provides very high levels of beta-carotene (which your body automatically converts to vitamin A), identified as a deterrent against breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration, as well as a supporter of healthy lung development in fetuses and newborns. A 1-cup serving, you get nearly half the recommended daily dose of antioxidant-rich vitamin C.
Butternut squash can be prepared in both savory as well as a sweet dishes. You can roast butternut squash, you can make butternut squash soup (one of my favorites), or you can do something different and make these:
Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza
Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna Rolls
Roasted Butternut Squash, Balsamic Caramelized onion, Sriracha Mayo Sandwich
Butternut Squash Risotto
Baked Butternut Squash and Cheese Polenta
Roasted Butternut Squash and Garlic Enchiladas
Butternut Squash and Coconut Curry
Pasta Pan-Fried with Butternut Squash, Fried Sage, and Pine Nuts
Roasted Butternut Squash & Balsamic Sauce Recipe for Pasta (& More)
Butternut Squash Black Bean Tostadas
Steamed Butternut Squash Pudding