Butternut squash is a winter squash that originated in the Americas. Although technically a fruit, Indigenous peoples have long used it as a vegan protein source when combined with corn and beans. The three are known as “The Three Sisters” when they are all together, and they are a popular sight in October. Butternut squash is low in calories but high in vitamins A, C, magnesium, and potassium, among other minerals.
Butternut squash goes well with a variety of sweet and savory meals. It’s a good source of vitamin A and various other nutrients. It has a low glycemic index while being a high-carbohydrate item, making it good for most eating plans.
Butternut Squash Nutrition Facts
What is Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash is a medium-sized winter squash that grows to be between 3 and 5 pounds in weight. Cucurbita moschata, which contains crookneck squash, fairytale pumpkins, and Dickinson pumpkins, is a variety of Cucurbita moschata. It is a crossbreed of the Canadian crookneck squash and the Hubbard squash that developed in Massachusetts.
Butternut squash has a bottle-like form with a long neck and a bulbous end. It has tan skin and brilliant orange flesh with a dense, moist texture and a buttery, nutty, sweet flavor. Because the seeds and pulp are located at the bulbous end of the fruit, the long “neck” of the fruit is all flesh. Although the skin is thin enough to eat, most people do not. It’s normally peeled before or after being roasted or steamed.
What are the Health Benefits of Butternut Squash?
Including butternut squash in your meal plan may provide certain health benefits because of its nutrients.
May Help Prevent Vision Loss
Vitamin A is required to maintain normal vision in the body. Beta carotene, a form of vitamin A that is especially vital for eye health, is found in butternut squash. Consuming foods or supplements containing beta carotene has been demonstrated in studies to help reduce age-related macular degeneration, a kind of vision loss that grows more common as individuals age. Butternut squash also contains a lot of vitamin C, a little vitamin E, and a little zinc. A 35 percent reduction in age-related macular degeneration was linked to an above-average intake of vitamin C and E, beta-carotene, and zinc.
May Reduce Risk of Some Cancers
Butternut squash contains vitamin A, which may help to prevent certain malignancies. The vitamin is necessary for cell growth and differentiation to occur. Some research has looked into the link between beta carotene and a reduced risk of prostate and lung cancer. The link between beta carotene and lung cancer in smokers, for example, has been explored with inconsistent results. Furthermore, higher vitamin A intake has been linked to a lower incidence of prostate cancer. However, the link between vitamin A and cancer risk is still unknown, and there’s a chance that too much vitamin A could be harmful.
May Reduce Risk of Measles
Measles is no longer prevalent in the United States, but it is still a leading cause of death in other developing countries. A lack of vitamin A raises the risk of severe measles. Vitamin A deficiency can be avoided by eating foods high in vitamin A or taking a vitamin A supplement.
Reduced Chronic Disease Risk
Researchers have recognized certain fruits and vegetables as “powerhouse fruits and vegetables.” These foods are most strongly linked to a lower risk of chronic disease. Bioavailable nutrients like vitamin C, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, and others are abundant in these foods. Winter squash, such as butternut and acorn squash, were included.
Butternut squash contains vitamin C, which is important in creating some neurotransmitters. Vitamin C may be useful in treating neurodegenerative illnesses characterized by high levels of oxidative stress.
Because of the anti-inflammatory properties of squash’s polyphenolic components have been reported to help reduce the risk of heart disease and hypertension.
Helps to Maintain Skin Health
Butternut squash is a good source of vitamin C, with 1 cup having up to 34% of the required daily dose. Collagen, the major protein in your skin, requires vitamin C to be produced. It also helps to protect against UV-induced photodamage by acting as an antioxidant.
Vitamin C is given directly to the skin on occasion. According to the authors of one study, healthy skin is favorably associated with a fruit and vegetable diet in multiple well-executed intervention trials. Although the specific ingredient in the fruits and vegetables that causes the effect has yet to be determined, vitamin C availability could be a factor.
Vitamin A intake that is more than normal is linked to negative consequences; the tolerated maximum limit for preformed vitamin A is around 3,000mcg per day. However, preformed vitamin A, which is mostly present in meat and dairy products, has been linked to negative effects.
The carotenoids beta-carotene and provitamin A present in plant-based foods like butternut squash have no known side effects. Carotenoderma, a benign disease in which the skin turns a yellow-orange color, is the only side effect of higher-than-normal intakes of plant-based vitamin A (excess beta-carotene). The condition can be reversed by avoiding foods or supplements that contain high quantities of beta carotene.
How to Add it to your Diet?
Butternut squash is a great strategy to improve your general health by including it in your diet. It’s a flavorful component that goes well with various flavors, from sweet to spicy.
Here are a few ideas for incorporating butternut squash into both sweet and savory dishes:
- Cut butternut squash into cubes and roast with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a quick, tasty side dish.
- Swap potatoes with butternut squash when making homemade fries.
- Top salads with roasted butternut squash for a boost of fiber.
- Add pureed butternut squash to baked goods, such as bread and muffins.
- Use butternut squash puree and coconut milk to make a creamy, dairy-free soup.
- Toss chunks of butternut squash into hearty stews.
- Make a vegetarian chili by combining beans, spices, tomato sauce, and butternut squash.
- Stuff-cooked butternut squash halves with your favorite mixture of grains, veggies, and cheese for a vegetarian dinner.
- Add cooked butternut squash to pasta dishes or use it pureed as a pasta sauce.
- Mash cooked butternut squash with salt, milk, and cinnamon for a creamy side dish.
- Eat roasted butternut squash alongside eggs for a hearty breakfast.
- Use pureed butternut squash in place of pumpkin when making pies or tarts.
- Add caramelized butternut squash to quiches and frittatas.
- Use butternut squash in place of potato in curries.
- Shave thin slices of raw butternut squash onto salads for a unique taste and texture.
- An experiment in your kitchen by trying out butternut squash in place of other starchy vegetables, such as potato, pumpkin, or sweet potato.
Farmer’s Market Foods Canned Organic Butternut Squash Puree
- Enjoy the Farmer’s Market recipe for rich and smooth organic butternut squash puree.
- Make homemade organic butternut squash soup or bisque any time of the year.
- Organic Butternut Squash is also great for pies, baking, and sauces.
- Made with only one ingredient, Certified organic butternut squash.
- Organic Butternut Squash ships in Amazon Certified Frustration-Free Packaging.
- Farmer’s Market canned puree is a Certified Organic Product of the USA.
When it’s the Most Effective?
Butternut squash is a type of winter squash. Butternut squash is available all year, but it is finest when it is in season in the fall and winter. Look for a creamy, pear-shaped squash that feels hefty for its size when selecting a butternut squash. Its skin should be thick, and butternut squash with blemishes or soft patches should be avoided.
What is its Storage and Food Safety?
Store your squash in a cool, dark spot for a month, such as a pantry. Uncooked squash should not be kept in the refrigerator. If you peel or prepare butternut squash, it should be stored in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. Butternut squash can be frozen once it has been peeled. Cube or slice the raw squash and freeze for up to a year in airtight freezer bags. Cooked squash can also be frozen. You may eat it raw, but boiling it softens the flesh and makes it simpler to eat and digest. Cooked squash is also tastier since it absorbs a variety of flavors. Some people question if they can eat squash skin, but it is best to avoid it because it is hard and unpleasant.
Vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting antioxidants abound in butternut squash. This low-calorie, high-fiber winter squash may aid weight loss while protecting against cancer, heart disease, and mental decline. It’s very versatile, as it may be used in sweet and savory meals. Butternut squash is a simple and delicious method to improve your health by including it in a well-balanced diet.
Roasted, baked, puréed, or sautéed butternut squash are all options. You can also load squash with whole grains or legumes for a nutrient- and protein-rich vegetarian dinner alternative, or mash or steam it and add it to soups, stews, or chili. Because peeling butternut squash can be laborious, many people choose to cook it with the skin on. After that, the squash meat will slide away more easily.
The absorption of vitamin A can be improved by baking butternut squash with some unsaturated fat, such as grapeseed or canola oil (which have greater smoke points than other choices). The natural sugar in butternut squash will caramelize throughout the roasting process, giving it a richer flavor.