If pumpkin is fall’s glory vegetable, then it’s butternut cousin is winter’s squash gem. I love how most fall and winter recipes calling for pumpkin, butternut squash, or even sweet potatoes can all interchange any of the starring vegetables. Their orange color, sweet and mild flavor are perfect for so many applications. While butternut is my least favorite to prep, it’s the sweetest and possibly most versatile of the three.
The sweet butternut squash is a nutritional gem, nutrient dense in vitamins and minerals while low in carbohydrates and calories, at only 16 g and 63 kcal per cup.Like its other orange counterparts, it is abundant in vitamins A and C. Butternut squash is also a significant source of magnesium, folate, potassium, and calcium.
Low in calories and high in fiber, butternut squash is a great addition to a weight-loss diet, providing nutrient dense satiety and also aiding in digestion and preventing GI issues.
At over 200% DV in each serving, butternut squash is a vitamin A superstar. As with pumpkin, this vitamin A aids in eye health, heart health, and cancer prevention. Adding a solid amount of potassium also aids in heart prevention and as well as preventing muscle contractions (good for runners!).
Their high calcium content is beneficial for bone health. The addition of a significant source of magnesium aids in calcium absorption, further increasing the mineral value of the food.
Whether you dice it, slice it, or blend it, test out the nutrient powers of this winter squash with one of these must-try recipes:
- Black Bean and Butternut Squash Burritos – A sweet and spicy spin on a Tex-Mex staple.
- Butternut Squash Apple Smoothie (+ Soup!) – For those unusually warm Texas fall mornings.
- Butternut Squash, Apple, and Pear Crisp – Another EP recipe for my Thanksgiving menu!
- Roasted Butternut Alfredo – The Best Pasta Sauce Ever. Seriously.
- Warm Butternut and Collard Pasta Salad – A hearty and comforting winter dish.