Butternut squash are members of the winter squash family Curcurbitaceae. They are shaped like large pears and have cream-colored skin, orange-colored flesh and a sweet flavor. They are excellent sources of carotenes – the richer the color, the higher the concentration. They are a very good source of Vitamin C, B1, folic acid, potassium and fiber. They have a protective effect against many cancers (especially lung), heart disease, and diabetes.
Choose butternut squash that are firm and heavy. Avoid those with signs of decay – spots that are moldy. After purchasing, store the squash away from sunlight between 50 and 60 degrees F. After washing the butternut squash, cut it in half, remove the seeds and fibrous material and remove the skin. Once it is cut, if you have unused portions, cover the pieces in plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Try this easy, slow cooker recipe that will warm your whole family up.
- 6 C chopped butternut squash (3 pound squash)
- 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped (I used granny smith)
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 2 C veggie stock (or more if desired)
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 C coconut or almond milk
- Place squash, apples, carrots, onion, garlic, stock and seasoning in a slow cooker on low and allow to cook for 6-8 hours.
- Add coconut (almond) milk and stir to combine.
- Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth (you may need to do two batches).
- Add additional stock if a thinner consistency is desired.
- Add sea salt and pepper to taste.