Butternut Squash Nutrition and Health Benefits

Pumpkin could also be the star of the autumn and winter seasons, however there’s one other sort of squash that deserves equal — if no more — consideration: butternut squash.

It would look just a little intimidating, however including butternut squash to a wholesome meal plan is a scrumptious technique to energy up your vitamin with nutritional vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Maintain studying to study all the pieces that you must learn about this mighty squash.

What Is Butternut Squash?

Butternut squash is a winter squash that grows on a vine and is in season through the fall and winter.

It grows with a tricky, thick pores and skin on the surface, however inside, the dense orange flesh has a potato-like texture and a nutty, candy style.

Although it’s usually the star of hearty and savory dishes, butternut squash is “technically a fruit,” says Sandy Cortez, M.S., R.D.N., registered dietitian and proprietor of InVita Wellness. “All forms of winter squash — together with butternut squash and pumpkins — are fruits as a result of they’ve seeds, however they’re thought of greens for culinary functions.”

Roasted butternut squash on a sheet pan.

Is Butternut Squash Wholesome?

Butternut squash is “a dietary powerhouse,” says Megan Wong, R.D.

Each serving packs in a healthy dose of nutritional vitamins. It gives greater than the day by day really useful quantity of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium.

It’s additionally a naturally low-calorie meals. In keeping with the USDA, one cup of butternut squash accommodates:

  • Energy: 82
  • Fats: 0.2g
  • Sodium: 8mg
  • Carbohydrates: 21.5g
  • Fiber: 6.6g
  • Sugars: 4g
  • Protein 1.8g

What are the Well being Advantages of Butternut Squash?

Might Assist Keep Eye Well being

Butternut squash accommodates beta-carotene, a sort of vitamin A that’s very important for eye well being. It additionally accommodates nutritional vitamins C and E.

One examine reveals that those that consumed higher-than-average quantities of those nutritional vitamins assist help eye well being as we age.

Might Assist Enhance Pores and skin Well being

One serving of butternut squash accommodates greater than one-third of your day by day wants for vitamin C.

This vitamin is crucial for quite a few features within the physique, together with collagen manufacturing. Collagen is the principle protein in bones, hair, muscular tissues, tendons, and ligaments.

It breaks down over time, so having a weight loss plan excessive in vitamin C can assist the physique produce collagen, shield in opposition to the free radicals and help pores and skin well being.

Can Butternut Squash Assist With Weight Loss?

Butternut squash is a posh carb with excessive soluble fiber ranges that aids digestion and retains blood sugar ranges regular.

“By slowing down digestion, the soluble fiber in pumpkin prevents blood sugar spikes,” says Wong.

Consuming meals with soluble fiber can assist you are feeling fuller for longer; research present that high-fiber, low-glycemic-load meals can assist with weight administration.

Carbohydrates are one of many macronutrients — together with fats and protein — that our our bodies must operate.

Whereas there aren’t things like good or unhealthy carbs, they’ll have an effect on our our bodies in numerous methods.

For instance, carbs like white bread, soda, and sweet, can spike blood sugar, resulting in the inevitable crash (and feeling of starvation) quickly afterward.

Choose a Butternut Squash

Whereas butternut squash is on the market all 12 months, it’s greatest to select one up when it’s in season through the fall and winter months.

And when selecting your squash, be sure you’re selecting the correct one.

They have a tendency to all look the identical, however small indicators can assist you inform the distinction between ripe butternut squash and one with mushy or stringy flesh inside.

First, have a look at the pores and skin. Skip a squash if it has any cuts or gentle spots as a result of this may pace up spoiling.

Additionally, transfer on if the pores and skin is shiny — it is a sign that it was picked too early within the season.

A heavy butternut squash with a agency stem means it has loads of water inside and is prepared for roasting.

Sliced butternut squash on cutting board

Peel and Minimize a Butternut Squash

Peeling a butternut squash is likely to be probably the most troublesome a part of making ready it.

“A boring knife is a extra harmful knife, so should you’re tackling this process, make sure you use a well-sharpened chef’s knife to chop the squash in half,” says Cara Harbstreet, M.S., R.D., registered dietitian, and proprietor of Avenue Sensible Diet.

Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and membranes, then slice the rind away from the flesh of the squash, then dice, slice, or cube it into the scale you want.

“If that is troublesome, you possibly can microwave the butternut squash for a couple of minute earlier than peeling,” provides Harbstreet.

You’ll want to hold the rind. “You should use it with different greens to make inventory for different recipes,” recommends Cortez.

In case your knife abilities aren’t as much as snuff, most grocery shops carry pre-peeled and chopped butternut squash, so you possibly can skip the prep altogether and simply get all the way down to cooking!

Take pleasure in These Delish Butternut Squash Recipes

Winter squash is flexible and retains its taste whether or not you roast it, steam it or simmer in a stew.

“Roasting is the most well-liked technique to put together a butternut squash as a result of the dry warmth helps to caramelize the pure sugars in it,” says Cortez.

However that’s not the one technique to put together it.

Take the style to the subsequent degree by making an attempt out these wholesome butternut squash recipes!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta

Whether or not as a aspect dish for a full Thanksgiving dinner or a midweek deal with, this butternut squash dish is salty and candy with feta cheese, cinnamon, and cranberries.

Get the recipe.

Kid Friendly Mac-and-Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Sustain your wholesome consuming plan and benefit from the consolation of a heaping bowl of macaroni and cheese with this dish that features each butternut squash and two sorts of cheese — all for below 300 energy per serving.

Get the recipe.

Healthy Soup Recipes

Butternut Squash Soup With Ginger

Heat up on a chilly day with this creamy soup that mixes the dietary energy of butternut squash with ginger, curry, and coconut milk.

Get the recipe.

A dish that embodies the spirit of the harvest season, this creamy, fragrant soup features Granny Smith apples, freshly ground ginger and ground nutmeg.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup

Granny Smith apples add a pleasant tart style to this hearty soup, whereas butternut squash, ginger, and milk give it the creamy texture that’s as scrumptious as it’s nutritious.

Get the recipe.

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