As a member of the gourd family, the butternut squash is a close relative to the pumpkin. This winter squash is a delicious food that was consumed and used by the early Native Americans. It was not until the early 19th century that the butternut squash was grown and eaten quite regularly. Unlike other squashes, this unique variety provides ample, orange, edible flesh, and a small inner cavity that has few seeds. These attributes along with a thin skin, make it a very popular food among many cultures.
Butternut squash is a very versatile food in the kitchen. Whether boiled or baked, it can be made into soups, pies, souffles, and breads. Also, it can be a flavorful addition to risotto or casseroles. Since it is such a close relative to the pumpkin, any recipe that calls for pumpkin can easily be substituted with a butternut squash. Actually, they can be used in a wide array of recipes.
One of the most popular ways to serve this winter squash is pureed into a smooth and creamy soup. Warm and filling, this soup makes any autumn evening complete. From slightly sweet to bold and savory, this soup recipe is capable of suiting any personal flavor choice. Try adding raviolis stuffed with sausage, beef, or chicken, to make this recipe into a hearty one dish dinner.
Another delectable way to prepare butternut squash is by way of a galette. This rustic French tart is indescribably the perfect vehicle for serving a mixture of apples, butternut squash, thyme, and rosemary. Once the pastry dough is pulled up around the mixture and brushed with butter, the open face tart is baked for about 55 minutes. In the last five minutes of baking, remove from oven, sprinkle with shredded Gruyere, and bake until cheese is melted. Another delicious way to serve it is through the use of ravioli. The small filled pasta allow a great deal of freedom in sweet and savory filling choices and can be prepared well ahead of time and cooked in minutes.
This delicious winter squash variety is a sensible source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Eaten regularly, it can help to lower cholesterol levels and improve digestion. One cup of the squash flesh will provide 3 grams of fiber, about 60 calories, and 16 grams of carbohydrates. Whether served as a side dish, dessert, or main course, it is deliciously healthy.
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