Fifty Shades of Squash

Posted by on Nov 7, 2013 in Nutrition | 211 comments

It’s a delicious food…it’s an adorable decoration….IT’S SQUASH!!!

There is something to be said about a food that can be turned into a bird feeder, be set on your porch beautifully-maimed and lit-up from within, and even still; grace your plate as either faux-spaghetti, a delicious soup, or lasagna.

You can even roast the darn seeds for a snack.

Seriously. What is there not to love about squash? (Other than the name. I feel like perhaps that was an afterthought, because lets face it, unless you are a juvenile delinquent running wild on Oct 31, the LEAST easy thing to do with a squash is…squash it.)

Even my neighborhood squirrels won’t leave my squash alone. There is photographic evidence. The jerks even stole the tops to my carved pumpkins. I wish I were joking.

Here is something else you probably didn’t know about squash. The delicious winter squash we are talking about today, are a member of the species Cucurbito Pepo. (Why not call them pepo’s?!? My squash naming-theory is gaining ground, here.) This includes pumpkins, acrorn, spaghetti, butternut, and delicata squash, to name a few. My paleoista’s will be happy to learn that the lovely cucurbito pepo is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, domesticated species with the oldest known locations being in southern Mexico  8,000-10,000 years ago. Its ancient territory extended north into Texas and up the Greater Mississippi River Valley into Illinois and east to Florida, and possibly even to Maine.It is known to have appeared in Missouri at least 4,000 years ago (thanks, wikipedia). So, our pepo buddies have been around for awhile.

I bet you didn’t realize we could talk so long about squash. This is the home stretch, pinky promise.

Winter squash are chocked full of the micronutrients we love, like vitamin A, calcium (see-no dairy required!), magnesium, and potassium. They pack a ton of flavor, and are a great way to sweeten dishes without using added sugars. Next time you are craving a sweet potato, give butternut squash a try, I bet you will love it, and it is about half the carbs and (natural) sugars. Winter squash also have a RIDICULOUS shelf life. I’m talking up to six months, for some varieties!

How is that for 50 shades of squash?

Go forth and eat cucurbito pepo, people.

Start with this:

Fall in a Bowl

  • 1Tbsp kerrygold butter (or coconut oil, etc)
  • 1/2 sweet onion diced
  • 1T minced garlic
  • 2 honey crisp apples peeled and sliced
  • 1.5 cups peeled and sliced/cubed butternut squash
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2cup broth (I used chicken stock)
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 1t salt
  • Sprinkle of fresh nutmeg
  • Sprinkle allspice
  • Fresh ground pepper
In a medium to large sized pot, melt 1Tbsp kerrygold butter (or other oil) on medium heat.
Add onion, garlic, squash, and apples, and cook until soft.
Add coconut milk, chicken broth, seasonings and bring to boil.
Cover pot and let soup simmer for about 10-15 minutes. (The more time you have, the better it will become!)
Serve as is, or blend until smooth. I used an immersion blender, but you could also transfer to a food processor or blender.
Full disclosure…I added 2 Tbsp goat cheese at the end…it was a delicious decision.
Until Next Time…

p.s. First official post from a plane. I feel really.awesome.sauce. Even though I paid $8 and my beautiful pictures won’t load.

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