Fall Is the Time to Eat Butternut Squash


Slices of Butternut Squash on the Grill

Butternut and other varieties of winter squash have been staples in the diets of North and South Americans for centuries. For over 10,000 years, squash has grown abundantly throughout Mexico and Guatemala. Winter squash has an extremely long shelf life. Harvested mainly from October to March, they can be stored for several months in the proper conditions. When choosing squash, look for ones that are firm and have no spots or large areas of discoloration. If you find one that has any kind of mark or soft spot, use it immediately because it will not last long in storage.

Most types of winter squash can easily be frozen if you do not have space in the pantry or the conditions are not well suited for storing fresh fruits and vegetables. The seeds from the squash can be saved and roasted. Butternut squash can be grilled outdoors or baked and served in a variety of ways. Diced squash can be added to lasagna and soups or it can be mashed and served with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. It can be added to many different recipes or used as a side dish. Because of its unique flavor, butternut squash can be seasoned with many different herbs and spices to create new and unique tastes.

Butternut squash has an abundance of vital nutrients the body needs to function. One cup has more than the recommended daily allowance of both potassium and Vitamin A. It also has Vitamin C, niacin, thiamin and many other essential vitamins and minerals. When included in the diet on a regular basis, it not only adds color but also an ample amount of nutrition.

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