You’ve been harvesting for weeks now and it’s time to start cooking, preparing, preserving, and enjoying some of those wonderful garden vegetables. I have a delicious, easy, and healthy recipe that your family will love that I want to share with you. I would also like to share some important nutritional values of butternut squash, and some harvesting tips for your garden winter squash.
So take the time to try this wonderful recipe — its sure to be a hit at the dinner table for your family. Since you’ve spent so much time nurturing your garden and plants – it’s now time to reap the bounty of your harvest and enjoy the cool Autumn weather with the beauty and rainbow of colors that Nature provides for our enjoyment.
Health Benefits Of Butternut Squash:
- Butternut squash contains many vital poly-phenolic antioxidants, is known for it natural antioxidants powers, is low calorie and can be very beneficial in weight loss.
- No saturated fats or cholesterol.
- Rich source of dietary fiber and phyto-nutrients.
- Contains Vitamin A is essential for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes, essential for healthy eyesight, and according to research studies shows evidence that it will help the body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.
- It is rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
- Butter nut squash is very similar to pumpkin in the aspects that it contains adequate levels of minerals like iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1 lb. small organic Brussels sprouts or if large quarter them
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 lb. cubed (about 1 inch) butternut squash from your garden or local harvest
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoons pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon organic ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or if your family prefers walnuts or almonds is also a good choice
1. Melt butter in large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add Brussels sprouts and water; cook, covered for 5 minutes. Add squash, salt, pepper and nutmeg; cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until just tender. (Remember do not over cook because the squash will become mushy)
2. Uncover; cook and stir 3 minutes or until water has evaporated and vegetables are slightly browned. Stir in syrup; cook 1 minute and then stir in pecans.
The sweet hint of maple syrup will enhance the tender and tasty Brussels sprouts and Butternut squash, while the chopped pecans add a delightful crunch that your family will love and be asking for seconds.
Makes about 6 — 3/4 cup servings
Some Helpful Tips For Harvesting Your winter squash:
- Remember to leave your squash in the garden as long as possible for the best flavor.
- After a few cool nights the sugar content increases and the flesh loses its moisture which improves its texture and promotes longer storage.
- Winter squash can tolerate a light frost but its best to harvest them before the first expected hard frost date in your region.
- Harvest with care and handle them carefully so not to bruise or scratch the skin.
- You want to leave the stem on the squash – if the stem breaks off it promotes rot and wouldn’t last as long in storage.
- After harvesting you need to cure first — allow squash to cure for about 10 days in a dry, warm place. — The exception is Acorn squash that can go right to cool storage after picking.
I love to eat butternut squash with a little organic brown sugar sprinkled on top and bake in the oven until tender. I also take butternut squash and chop it in quarters or pieces and put them in zip lock freezer bags and put int the freezer to use throughout the winter. If you don’t have the space to store loads of fresh items this is a great alternative option. So take advantage of the health benefits of all the varieties of pumpkins and winter squashes and make delicious recipes for your family throughout the winter and all year-long.
Now is the season that we can reap many nutritious fruits and vegetables and preserve them for the coming winter season. Let’s stay on the path to healthy and green living.
Live Natural, Live Organic, Live Green, Live Long!
Other sources: Gardening How-to magazine – Fall 2013
Shared on THE HOMESTEADERS BLOG HOP!