Gourds aren't just for decorating. They also make healthy and tasty dishes perfect for any fall or winter dinner party. Butternut squash is a type of winter gourd that when uncooked will keep for quite a long time as long as the skin isn't pierced. This means less trips to the grocery store. Once you're ready to switch out that decorative gourd centerpiece you can repurpose it for a tasty dinner!
This type of gourd is grown on a vine and has a flavor similar to that of a pumpkin. The flavor is described as being sweet and nutty, the flavor will deepen as the gourd ripens. It's a little-known fact that butternut squash is technically a fruit! However, even though they are part of the fruit family the can still be used and cooked like a vegetable.
Butternut squash makes for a healthy main or side dish. They're high in fiber, magnesium and potassium. This combination helps lower cholesterol and can help control and prevent diabetes. Butternut squash are also high in vitamins like C, A and E. Vitamin C helps repair tissue and boost the immune system. It also helps prevent diseases like scurvy. Vitamin A is necessary for healthy eyes. While vitamin E also helps maintain healthy eyes this fat-soluble antioxidant also helps boost the neurological system as well.
If you're looking for to add a flavorful healthy vegetable to your Thanksgiving dinner but want something a little more unique than the average string bean casserole, squash is a great alternative. This butternut squash recipe is easy and flavorful, just split the squash, scoop out the seeds, season, and bake. This speedy dish makes clean up fast and easy as well.
- 2 small to medium butternut squash
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- cinnamon sugar*
- Brush a jelly-roll pan with butter and heat oven to 350°.
- Carefully cut each squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and soft fibers with a spoon. Brush the inside of each squash with butter; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
- Place squash halves, seasoned cut side up, in the prepared pan.
- Roast the squash for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the squash is tender and can be easily pricked with a fork or skewer.
- Serve halves immediately or scoop the squash out into a serving dish and discard the skin.
*To make the cinnamon sugar, mix 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon with 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar.