I LOVE eating seasonal produce because, to me, it just feels so right. When the weather cools down, my body starts craving more savory hot, fiber-filled meals. I also like eating seasonal produce because I can get it locally. Some of the biggest benefits to eating local food are that it is usually picked when it’s ripe (or almost ripe), and spends little time in transit. We are lucky in Montreal to live near farms, you may even get to go pick your own!

Butternut squash is a nutritious, delicious, and easy food to cook with. It provides a healthy alternative in many dishes to kitchen staples such as the potato. It’s low in fat as well as in sodium and sugars, making it very heart-friendly. Its yellow color is representative of the large amount of antioxidants and phytonutrients it contains. The butternut squash, often thought to be a vegetable, is actually a fruit because of its seeds. It contains high-levels of potassium – key for bone health. In addition, it contains B6, a vitamin that helps boost your nervous and immune systems. The high levels of beta-carotene in the squash are converted into Vitamin A by your body, which helps with eye function and fights against breast cancer as well as macular degeneration. A 1-cup serving of it cooked satisfies your daily need for Vitamin C. The high levels of folate it contains are especially important for pregnant women, aiding in fetus development.

For 1 cup cooked butternut squash:

Calories: 82

Fat: 0.2 g

Carbohydrates: 22 g

Protein: 2 g

Vitamin A: 1,144 mg, 163% DRI (Daily Recommended Intake)

Vitamin B6: 0.3 mg, 20% DRI

Vitamin C 21 mg, 41% DRI

Folate 39 mg, 10% DRI

Potassium 582 mg, 12% DRI

Recipes:

There are limitless recipes you can use butternut squash in. From soups to roasted vegetable dishes, stir-fries, risotto  Click here to see some delicious Butternut Squash Recipes we have collected on Back To Eden’s inspirational Pinterest board.

Butternut Squash

Roasted butternut squash, cranberry, and goat cheese salad with local apples from Oka

Ingredients:

– Half a butternut squash

– 2 cups spinach

– 1 medium apple

– 1-cup goat cheese

– 1-cup cranberries

– A hand full of butternut squash seeds

– 2 tablespoons cinnamon

– A pinch of cardamom

Directions:

1) Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

2) Peel and cut the butternut squash into small pieces (look here for instructions on how to cut the squash). Cover individually in olive oil with optional salt and pepper for seasoning. Place on an oven sheet, each in its own place. Sprinkle cinnamon and cardamom on top, if you wish.

3) Place the squash in the oven during 30 minutes, turning the pieces over every 10 minutes or so.

After the squash has been well cooked, which you can see by testing it with a fork, lay it on top of a bed of spinach. Add goat cheese, cranberries, and cut up apple slices on top. If you wish, you can also add the seeds left over from the butternut squash. Poor balsamic vinegar lightly over the top to add a tinge of taste.

Butternut Squash

Sources

1. World’s Healthiest Foods. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=63

2. Butternut Squash Nutrition Facts. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/butternut-squash.html

3. Whole Living. http://www.wholeliving.com/134734/power-foods-butternut-squash