Charles Leggett developed the squash known as Butternut. It is a cross between gooseneck squash and other varieties. Leggett wanted something smaller than a Hubbard squash and flesh that was easier to prepare. Those who tasted this new squash described it as, "smooth as butter and sweet as a nut," thus the name butternut. Winter and summer squash are very different. Winter squash is allowed to mature on the vine and stored for winter use. The skin is tough and inedible. Winter squashes are gourds and are one of the oldest known crops, originally used as containers or utensils because of their hard shell. "Squash" comes from the Narragansett Native American word askutashquash, which means eaten raw or uncooked."
Squash is technically a fruit and has amazing health benefits. By now, if you have been reading my seasonal blog, you know that 1. The foods I blog about have amazing health benefits; 2. Eating the rainbow is required in order for one to be healthy; 3. Eating seasonally (and locally) will prepare our bodies for seasonal change. Butternut squash is high in fiber, manganese, vitamin C, and is a vitamin A powerhouse. The seeds are also nutritious, high in protein, healthy fats, and zinc.
Butternut squash if stored in a cool, dry spot will keep for up to six months.
Ready to use your squash? Always use a veggie wash, homemade or store bought, and thoroughly wash the outside of your squash. Slice the stem and bottom end off so that both ends are flat and discard. The easiest way to prepare butternut squash and most squash is to cut in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds using a metal spoon (save for roasting) and roast face down on an ungreased cookie sheet in a preheated 400 degree oven until tender when poked with a fork. Cool and scoop out meat using a spoon. What to do with the meat? Add brown sugar and cinnamon and/or turmeric, or serve drizzled with a teaspoon of olive oil and dust with salt and pepper. I like to add butternut to smoothies.
Butternut can also be eaten raw, best grated or shredded. Most spiralizers are not powerful enough to cut through butternut, but never give up!
Butternut can also be peeled. Slice the stem and bottom end off. Cut in half widthwise, stand on flat end and peel until the peel no longer has green lines running through it. Simply cut the squash into the size chunks required. Add to soups, sauté, steam, boil, roast, bake. Please click on the button below for recipes.
Thank you for reading my blog.
-Dawn Swope BA, CHHC, AADP